Group Management Report Products Safety and Health Environment Human Resources Social Commitment Consolidated Financial Statements 89
Through the use of novel catalysts, BYK succeeded in continuously
expanding its range of tin-free wetting and dispersing
agents. The products meet the current requirements,
especially those of customers in the furniture industry. In
addition, the formulations comply with special regulations,
including the Toy Safety Direction.
Contributions to a Circular Economy
The topic of a circular economy is becoming increasingly
important for the chemical industry. The transition from
linear to circular value chains includes reuse as well as mechanical
and chemical recycling. This also includes waste
incineration processes in which the heat generated is used as a
source of energy and, in the future, will include the reuse
of the resulting CO² as a chemical raw material.
Product design figures prominently in this process. The
aim is to achieve both the desired product properties and
simple recycling of the raw materials.
ACTEGA developed a water-based primer with barrier
properties for cardboard packaging. In combination with an
associated top coat, the cardboard packaging coated in
this way can serve as a substitute for polyethylene-laminated
or extruded sheets. One area of application is food pack-
aging, such as takeaway ice cream cups and cold drink cups.
Typically, a layer of polyethylene is used, either extruded
or laminated to board. Polyethylene serves as a barrier layer
for food and prevents water or grease from penetrating
into and through the sheet. These multi-component films cannot
be mechanically recycled using the technical methods
available today. The novel, water-based barrier coatings from
ACTEGA, on the other hand, are an environmentally friend-
ly alternative without a polyethylene layer. After use, the cardboard
can be recycled in the usual paper stream; the coatings
do not interfere with this process.
On the raw material side, too, the transition to circular processes
offers considerable advantages. For instance, BYK
uses an external service provider for the distillative recovery
of an important raw material. Apart from avoiding around
200 tons of waste per year, this means that around 120 tons
of raw material which meets the strict regulatory and quali-
ty requirements in all respects can be recovered. And because
it uses less energy than the actual manufacturing process,
the secondary raw material has a better carbon footprint than
the primary one. The same concept is already being used
successfully today for other materials. ALTANA sees this as a
good opportunity to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, thereby promoting dialog with appropriate
suppliers and service providers.
Regenerative and renewable raw materials also lead to
improved eco balances. ELANTAS developed an epoxy system
based on biobased building blocks. And in the year under
review, BYK introduced further products that are based on
up to 100 % renewable raw materials and in some cases are
In addition to these specific product developments,
ALTANA is also involved in national and international initiatives,
such as the German Chemical Industry Association
(VCI) and the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).