As 2021 rushes to its close, we look back in this issue at two successful events that - somewhat miraculously - were able to go forward as in-person events, albeit with all the restrictions and precautions called for in these COVID times. While both the Fakuma and PRSE also offered online options, in both cases, the sheer number of those who chose to attend in person not only exceeded all expectation, it's also a sign of how important personal contact continues to be. And yes: it was great to be back!
Another topic we revisit in this issue is that of renewables, or more specifically, renewable carbon. We interviewed Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste about that company’s leading role in the move away from fossil fuels – and about making choices. Alonso talks about how the company deliberately mapped out a strategy to transform itself from a regional oil refiner into a self-described global leader in renewable and circular solutions, even though at the time nobody was looking for renewable products. Believing this was the path forward, they did it anyway – proving, along the way, that it was possible to turn renewables into an economically viable, money-making business.
For this issue’s Q & A we spoke with Jean Gadbois, senior vice president of Manufacturing for the Europe, Asia and International region of LyondellBasell, about the recently completed Circular Steam Project at Maasvlakte-Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The project has resulted in massive energy savings and a very significant reduction of the carbons emissions at the site, in line with the company’s ongoing carbon reduction programme, which has as ultimate target carbon neutrality in 2050.
On a different note: a few months back, we posted an item online about new technology developed by a young start-up called LiquiGlide. They have developed a non-stick coating that works by eliminating friction, as Chief Business Officer Dan Rippy, explained. It also eliminates waste, as 100% of the contents of tube and other packaging types are evacuated, leaving behind no residues. We went back to the company to find out more. It turns out that the benefits the technology can offer in, for example, the medical field are tremendous, in terms of reducing cost, improving patient care and improving outcomes in the biomedical domain.
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