Wednesday 21 August 2013

Tencel sales to nonwovens up 25%

The following paragraphs are extracted from Lenzing's 2nd quarterly report for 2013.  

The global nonwovens fiber market developed robustly in the first half of 2013 against the backdrop of very good volume demand. However, the declining textile fiber selling prices, also in the nonwovens sector, also led to some price pressure.

Lenzing set new sales priorities in its nonwovens business in the first half-year, for example in Europe, where demand developed well. On balance, shipment volumes in the first half of 2013 climbed to about 131,000 tons (H1 2012: 115,000 tons). There was a significant volume increase for TENCEL® of approximately 5,000 tons to close to 23,000 tons.

Average fiber selling prices for Lenzing nonwoven fibers remained stable in the first half-year at EUR 1.75 per kilogram, but were below the comparable level in 2012 (EUR 1.84/kg) in line with the general price trend. As expected, the price decrease was not as pronounced as in the textile segment.

Demand for TENCEL® used in textile applications could also be maintained at the same high level by implementing corresponding marketing campaigns. These measures related to all types of TENCEL® fibers, serving as the basis for full capacity utilization at the TENCEL® production plants. In spite of the disruption in production at the TENCEL® factory in Heiligenkreuz, total volume reached a level of 43,000 tons in the first six months of this year, slightly above the prior-year figure of about 42,000 tons. TENCEL® selling prices developed stably throughout the entire first half of 2013, featuring price premiums of about 50% vis-à-vis viscose, but significantly below the premiums attained in the first half-year 2012. 

Lenzing's full quarterly report is now available for download here.

Presentation slides are also available here

Monday 12 August 2013

It's OK to use food-crops for bioplastics if...

Berlin, 12 August 2013. The nova-Institute has recently published a paper on agricultural feedstock use in industrial applications shedding light on the controversial public debate surrounding the industrial use of food crops or so-called first generation feedstock. The core finding asserts that efficiency and sustainability assessed on a case-by-case basis should be the sole criteria in judging the choice of feedstock used. The institute further stresses that the real issue is land availability for growing biomass for different purposes.

The paper refers to studies asserting that, even after satisfying food demand of a rapidly growing world population, enough arable land would remain available for purposes other than food production. The best usage of these areas is achieved by considering the land-efficiency of different crops. Studies show that many food crops are more land-efficient than non-food crops. According to the paper, they require less land to produce the same amount of e.g. fermentable sugar (commonly used in biotechnology processes) than non-food crops or so-called second generation feedstock, e.g. lignocelluloses.

“Efficiency and sustainability should be the leading criteria when selecting renewable feedstock for industrial purposes, such as the production of bioplastics”, said Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics, embracing the paper as a welcome contribution to the discussion.

Monday 5 August 2013

Kelheim viscose has a fingerprint against forgery

With its new viscose fibres “with a fingerprint”, renowned viscose speciality fibre manufacturer Kelheim Fibres presents an innovative solution for composites at this year’s Composites Europe trade fair. The objective is to protect plastic products against forgery, to ensure product traceability and supply chain control – and to avert fraudulent warranty claims. By incorporating luminescent pigments from Tailorlux, the specialist in inorganic phosphors, in the viscose fibre matrix during the spinning process, Kelheim Fibres has intrinsically bound the pigments to the fibre and created a durable effect.

The pigments are customised from a range of more than 300 billion different combinations. They can be precisely identified by light spectroscopy, a widely recognised and uncomplicated method. The pigment can be detected in a non-destructive or a destructive examination (for example in the ash of a product). For quick checks in the field, Tailorlux offers a simple hand scanner.
The particular advantage of Kelheim’s viscose fibres with a fingerprint: the “detour” via the viscose fibres allows for a very economic dosage of pigments in the plastic, so that in the end, there is less pigment required than when added directly. The customer benefits from a significant economic advantage. With these new fibres, Kelheim Fibres offers a solution for all manufacturers of composites (for example in the automobile industry), who have been searching for affordable protection against forgery for some time.
Kelheim Fibres is able to manufacture various types of viscose fibres incorporating Tailorlux’ luminescent pigments, based on the customer’s specific needs, which allows a perfect match to the end product and to the customer’s production process.