The global demand for energy is expected to double by 2050. Given the optimized use of fossil fuels and the necessity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence, resorting to renewable energies has now become inescapable. This poses a major challenge for renewable energy producers and managers. To support them and accelerate their growth, Arkema has made this issue one of its major fields of innovation.
→ We are involved in the main growing new markets from the energy production and storage to the production of renewable fuels.
→ We manufacture a heat transfer fluid for concentrated solar power plants (CSP) and new materials that improve the performance and lifespan of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries.
→ We developed a resin for manufacturing sustainable and recyclable wind turbines.
→ We provide innovating chemicals and services to the biodiesel producers.
Improving the competitiveness of solar energy
Used in the manufacturing of solar panels, these materials contribute to increasing their performance, while also reducing their cost.
- PVDF Kynar® Film fluorinated polymers, extruded as ultra-fine and resistant multilayer films, protect the backside of the panels against humidity and solar aging. As a result, the lifespan of panels is extended beyond 20 years.
- To improve its EVA offering, the Arkema Group developed Luperox® Solar, a grade of organic peroxide, which speeds up EVA crosslinking used for the encapsulation of cells, thereby optimizing the production rate of panels.
- Researchers at Arkema recently developed Apolhya® Solar, a nanostructured thermoplastic polymer, designed for the encapsulation of new generation flexible photovoltaic modules, also known as “thin layers”. Apolhya® Solar combines thermo-mechanical, adhesive and creep resistant properties with perfect transparency. As no crosslinking is required for the implementation of this product, the production time of the panels is reduced, and end of life recycling is easier.
Committing to the expansion of wind power
To avoid exposing their personnel to styrene, makers of wind turbine blades are turning to acrylic coatings from Sartomer, an Arkema subsidiary. Applied as a surface coating, photocure acrylic coatings harden instantly under ultraviolet light. This new protective technology is greener than green: it is solvent-free and emits zero volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Durable and recyclable wind turbine blades!
With its new Elium® thermoplastic resin, Arkema is increasingly active in the wind power market. This ultra innovative product features countless properties. In particular it allows energy savings during the manufacture of the thermoplastic composite blades, compared with blades made of polyester composite (a thermoset resin). Bonding takes place at ambient temperature: molds no longer need heating!
Furthermore, thanks to a depolymerization process developed by Arkema’s R&D, composite parts that contain the Elium® resin are recyclable. This is a big first and a real plus for wind turbine blade manufacturers, who are mindful of the future of their installations as well as the ussue of recycling.
Optimizing the biodiesel and renewable diesel production
Biofuels, produced directly or indirectly from biomass including plant materials or animal waste, are one key alternative option for the substitution of fossil fuels while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. Governments across the world have put in place supporting policies by approving legislative instruments or implementing tax exemptions, subsidies or other forms of financial incentives that foster the biofuel industry.
The biodiesel is now commonly used, all over the world, alone or blended with petro-diesel in the transportation or industrial processes. It is mainly produced, by transforming the vegetable or waste oils and animals fats, through two processes:
- The "transesterification” giving Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) biodiesel.
- The "hydro-processing” giving Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (HVOs), called also “Renewable diesel.”
Whatever the process, the entire biodiesel sector is facing with multiple and complex challenges: meeting the biodiesel standard, improving yields, ensuring installations protection and operators safety in a context of cost reduction and tougher environmental standards.
Arkema is proposing its support thank a strong and recognized expertise and by providing its innovating thiochemal solutions to allow the biodiesel manufacturers to produce, in a safe and cost-effective manner, the highest quality of FAME biodiesel or renewable diesel.
• Arkema’s MSA LC (Low Corrosion) is a strong acid that could be used as a aciduation or neutralization agent or as (trans)esterification catalyst that improves yield for biodiesel producers, allow the use of using advantaged feeds, with significantly reduced corrosivity toward stainless steel materials.
• Arkema manufactures the most widely used sulfiding agent, the Dimethyl Disulfide (DMDS), at a two world-scale production sites and ensure its seamless and safe supply throughout the world. Thank its 40 years of experience in the oil refining and petrochemical industries, Arkema can also optimize on-site the catalyst sulfiding though a wide range of Carelflex® injection services.