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Green Innovation: developing DINH CPC’s Refining and Manufacturing Research Institute wins the 14th National Innovation Award

Green Innovation: developing DINH CPC’s Refining and Manufacturing Research Institute wins the 14th National Innovation Award

9 February2018

CPC’s Refining and Manufacturing Research Institute (RMRI), one of the key elements in its R&D Department, has come up with a novel approach to a problem - one that won it the 14th National Innovation Award in December 2017.

Plasticizers are widely used around the world, mostly in the manufacture of plastic products of all kinds, such as toys and medical devices, as well as in materials like cosmetics. Current global usage of all formulations amounts to around 8.0 million metric tons annually, of which phthalates account for 76%. These, however, are toxic, bio-accumulative and carcinogenic, not to mention non-biodegradable, and have a seriously harmful impact on growing children in particular. In fact Taiwan’s government categorizes phthalates as a first- or second-tier poison.

CPC’s R&D team managed to convert that traditional, toxic plasticizer into di-isononyl cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate or DINH – an environmentally-friendly version with similar characteristics but non-toxic – by means of the hydrogenation process, making it a green product with great potential for commercial development. The CPC researchers not only completed the technical development of this product in the laboratory, but also set up a manufacturing test run in a dedicated pilot plant.

CPC is one of the few companies with the technological skills required for handling the uniquely innovative development process of this environmentally-friendly plasticizer. A patent application has been made, on the basis of both its formulation and that its functionality can be fully customized in line with product specifications. When it is blended with PVC powder, for example, the resulting material can be successfully used to produce such items as plastic granules, hoses and thin film as well as a varied range of other products that includes the CPC mascot. That little fellow has now passed all the tests entailed in acquiring safe toy certification. The achievement of producing this green plasticizer has earned the company recognition from the Environmental Protection Administration in addition to the aforementioned National Innovation Award.

To sum up, the green plasticizer evolved by CPC’s Refining and Manufacturing Research Institute is not toxic to the environment and is neither carcinogenic nor bio-accumulative. Moreover, it can be safely used in the manufacture of high-end medical equipment and devices, child-care items and body-contact products. As well as having many applications in Taiwan’s domestic market, the material items derived from this unique hydrogenation technique tie in with the government’s New Southbound Policy – the initiative intended to expand Taiwan’s export markets, especially those in South-East and South Asia – and stand a good chance of eventually becoming one of the world’s most highly-valued product categories.

CPC foresees developing more high value-added products with green and environmentally-friendly credentials. That will be not only a turning point for the company but also a demonstration of its continuing commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities as a good corporate citizen.