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Comment Sustainability

Celanese and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials jointly developing recycling technologies for acetal copolymer

By Mary Page Bailey |

Celanese Corp. (Dallas, Tex.) and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM), a leading global manufacturer of high-performance thermoplastic materials in the form of semi-finished products and finished parts,  announced a joint collaboration to further develop mechanical recycling solutions for both post-industrial and post-consumer sources of polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as acetal copolymer, to meet the requests from customers seeking recycled content options and carbon dioxide reductions while still maintaining product consistency, quality and performance.

Celanese and MCAM plan to work together to assess options to convert waste streams into marketable, end-product formulations so that Celanese can offer its customers sustainable options for scrap or end-of-life waste with assurances of closed loop material reuse.

In November 2020, Celanese introduced a sustainable polyacetal product offering known as POM ECO-B, a mass-balance, bio-based option which allows customers to realize reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in their end-use products and advance toward their renewable content goals. While POM ECO-B is commercially available now, not all customers or industries are ready to adopt bio-mass balance that comes with its carbon dioxide footprint reduction benefit.

Today’s joint announcement with MCAM builds upon Celanese’s sustainable product offerings by initiating development of a recycled content option of the Celanese Hostaform® / Celcon® POM product that will be marketed as POM ECO-R, a recycled content offering to be jointly developed with MCAM. MCAM would conduct the recycled feedstock collection, separation, and processing, while Celanese would provide the formulation, product technology and production capability. Celanese expects to offer to existing and new customers its POM ECO-R solution with a recycled content offering of up to 30 percent.

POM ECO-B, where the polymer itself is identical to its fossil-based twin but where the carbon feedstock is replaced with bio-based feedstock in a mass-balance approach, is different from POM ECO-R in that POM ECO-R would be derived from both post-industrial and post-consumer sources of POM to offer a recycled content solution.

“Celanese is a leading, global producer of acetal copolymer, and our industrial scale manufacturing capabilities for POM are ideally suited for helping customers in a range of industries – such as medical, automotive and consumer goods – to meet their strategic environmental goals,” said Tom Kelly, Celanese Senior Vice President, Engineered Materials. “Offering both bio-based POM content, which can be uniquely produced from waste products via bio-methane or from CO2 emissions, and recycled POM through a collaboration with MCAM, elevates the broad usability of POM as an ideal engineered material that can help our customers meet and achieve their sustainability goals.”

“MCAM has invested significantly in enabling closed loop opportunities for post-industrial and post-consumer POM waste streams. In partnership with raw material supplier Celanese and its extensive capacities, we can now offer a wide range of new opportunities to our customers to achieve their own sustainability goals, support CO2 reduction and work towards a climate-neutral economy,” said Markus Wehinger, Business Manager, MCAM Recycling Solutions.

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