Clariant, the Swiss specialty chemicals corporation headquartered in Muttenz, made it to the finals of the prestigious German business innovation award, Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft 2015, in the large company category. The company was nominated for its Licocene polyolefin-based waxes, which were touted as "advancing sustainability in textiles, plastics and coatings manufacturing and improving the environmental profile of a wide range of applications."
"This accolade for Clariant reinforces the increasing importance placed on sustainability within society today," said Oliver Kinkel, Head of Business Unit Additives at Clariant. "With Licocene systems, users can achieve significantly higher efficiency levels, supporting efforts to address current global challenges, such as the efficient use of resources and energy."
Manufacturers using Licocene waxes benefit in a number of ways: They need to use fewer ingredients; the number of manufacturing steps decreases; and the waxes make it possible to use fewer resource-intensive production processes. In textiles, for example, the close cooperation between Clariant and German coatings and laminate specialist Lacom GmbH has succeeded in a shift from an energy-intensive, water-based textile coating technology to a less energy-consuming process of hot melt coating using very low amounts of Licocene additives. There are also environmental benefits for final products, such as improved recyclability of textiles, or reduced product weight.
Licocene's ability to support more sustainable processing is particularly valued in energy-intensive sectors, such as technical textiles for mattresses, furniture and carpets for automotive and aerospace interiors. The waxes are also used in the manufacture of masterbatches and engineering plastics, as well as in industrial coatings, and in printing inks and adhesives for packaging applications.
The award jury of leading science and business representatives also acknowledged Licocene for promoting home-grown R&D and technical processing within Germany. The waxes were developed in a collaborative effort between Clariant's researchers in Höchst and researchers at the University of Hamburg, which culminated in the piloting and building of a full-scale production unit in Germany. Clariant continues to work closely with its customers both inside and outside of Germany to use Licocene to bring sustainability advances to market segments. As of 2016, the company will have achieved a 50% increase in its production capacity for Licocene to support increasing interest in the product and its extensive application possibilities.
The 2015 award ceremony and gala dinner took place on March 21, 2015, in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the second time a Clariant development has been acclaimed by the organizers. The company's Exolit halogen-free flame retardants were finalists in the Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft 2012/2013.