2012-09-06

LANXESS Powers Green Mobility with Extensive Solutions for Tires, Rubber Products, Plastics, Leather and Batteries

Shanghai, September 6, 2012 – German specialty chemicals group LANXESS showcased its innovative solutions to China’s expanding green mobility trend on Mobility Day China in Shanghai.

 

A large number of LANXESS’ products are geared towards the “green mobility” trend and have become the industry’s preferred choices.

 

“We believe that ‘green mobility’ is where the core of future competitiveness lies for LANXESS. With our advanced products and innovative solutions, we are determined to help people travel comfortably, cleanly and safely,” said Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management LANXESS AG.

 


Sustainability energized by green tires

Studies show that 20% to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption and 24% of road vehicle’s CO2 emissions are related to tires. LANXESS, as the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic rubber, provides high-performance rubbers such as SSBR (solution-styrene-polybutadiene rubber) and Nd-PBR (neodymium polybutadiene rubber) rubbers, enabling tire makers to create green tires with less rolling resistance and helping to save 5 to 7% of fuel consumption without compromising on safety.

 

China’s Rubber Industry Association launched a program to develop fuel-efficient “Green Tires.” The plan calls for half of China's tire makers to be capable of producing a fuel-efficient tire by 2015, and for 25 percent of passenger vehicle tire production to be “Green Tires” by the same date.

 

One element in the plan is to draw up national standards based on the EU green tire-labeling regulations, which will be enforced from November, following similar initiatives in Japan and South Korea. The labeling system classifies rolling resistance and wet grip. Other countries such as Brazil, the United States and China are expected to follow suit in the coming years.

 

Green tires are believed to be the fastest growing sector in the tire industry with annual growth of 10 percent amid the sustainability efforts. In Asia, the number will be as much as 13 percent per year.

 

Additives also play an important role here. LANXESS’ nano additive Nanoprene® when added to a tire’s treads, can significantly improve the tire’s grip on wet roads as well as resistance to abrasion.

 

LANXESS, a pioneer in the development of tires, estimates around 25% of its overall sales go into the tire industry.

 


High performance materials driving future mobility

Reducing weight could help lower fuel consumption as well as emissions. In the future of electrical mobility, reduced weight means a longer range for electric vehicles.

 

Durethan and Pocan, high-performance plastics from LANXESS that are based on polyamides (PA) and polybutylene terephthalates (PBT) represent a lighter-weight plastic alternative to metals such as steel or aluminum. The two high-tech plastics can reduce components’ weight by up to 50  percent and are increasingly replacing metals in the automobile industry with applications from under the hood to functional parts such as fastening elements, guides, contact surfaces, engine bearings, door structures, front ends and seat cross-members.

 

High-tech plastics offer not only the benefit of weight reduction; they also bring entirely new construction and design possibilities with properties of exceptional strength and stability. Another advantage is that complex components made of plastics can be produced in fewer steps in mass production, leading to fewer costs. Currently, the share of high-performance plastics in cars can amount to 20 percent – and this figure is showing an upward trend.

 

LANXESS has a global production capacity for high-tech plastics of around 260,000 metric tons. Production volumes are set to rise further once the construction of plants in Gastonia, United States, and Porto Feliz, Brazil, have been completed.

 

Technical Rubber for Sustainable Mobility

LANXESS Technical Rubber Products business unit provides rubber components made from specialty rubber including Therban HNBR (hydrogenated nitrile rubber) and Keltan Eco EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) rubber.

 

Therban combines outstanding oil resistance at both high and low temperatures with extremely high wear resistance. As a result, it is always the first choice when extremely high stresses are involved, for example in the engine compartments of automobiles.

 

Apart from cutting-edge products and sustainable production processes, raw materials can also make a difference. Since the end of 2011, LANXESS has started producing EPDM from bio-based ethylene to replace petrochemical materials. Keltan ECO is the world’s first synthetic rubber partly made of renewable raw material.

 

EPDM-based products are used above all in the automotive industry, for applications such as door sealants and windshield wipers.

 

Sustainable Leather Management

Driven by the megatrend of mobility, the demands for high-class leather for the interiors of cars, airplanes and trains have also continually increased over the years. LANXESS launched the sustainable Leather Management initiative in 2011 and is proactively supporting tanneries by developing new core technologies for high-class and ecologically soundly produced leather – and thus making a valuable contribution to green mobility.

 

LANXESS new X- Lite technology can produce upholstery leathers that are no different from normal leather in terms of appearance, texture or wear resistance, but are up to 20 percent lighter, leading to greater fuel efficiency, higher load capacity and lower CO2 emissions for cars.

 

LANXESS has also launched X-Tan as a new kind of robust organic tanning process for high-quality wet white leather with outstanding environmental properties. This completely new technology makes an important contribution to conserving the valuable natural resource of water and significantly reduces the environmental contamination caused by the wet white process.

 

Batteries: a Key to E-Mobility

China initiated subsidies of up to 60,000 RMB to e-vehicle buyers to encourage the development of the e-vehicle market. The government targets at putting 5 million electric vehicles on the roads of China by 2020. However, the market is constrained by the currently limited energy storage of batteries. Apart from building a comprehensive battery-recharging network, researchers are also trying to extend the service life of batteries in order to support long-distance traveling.

 

To help solve this battery challenge, LANXESS’ Inorganic Pigments business unit is driving the development of iron oxide pigments, which are used as iron raw materials for the production of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP).  LiFePO4 is used as a cathode material in batteries for electric vehicles.

 

LANXESS is the world’s largest producer of iron oxide pigments, possessing the highest capacity and plant availability to meet the increasing demand of iron oxide pigment for battery cathodes production of e-vehicles.

 

“China is expected to keep the growth momentum and our products facilitating green mobility will make important contributions to it,” said Martin Kraemer, CEO of LANXESS Greater China.

 


LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.8 billion in 2011 and currently around 16,900 employees in 31 countries. The company is at present represented at 48 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.


Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to confirm them to future events or developments.

Information for editors:

All LANXESS news releases and accompanying photo, video and audio material can be found at http://www.lanxess.cn or http://www.weibo.com/lanxess.

Information on chemical products from LANXESS can also be found in our Web Magazine at http://webmagazine.lanxess.cn.

 

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