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Houston energy company celebrates new innovation center in Belgium

Huntsman Corp. celebrated the opening of the new R&D center in Tienen, Belgium, this month. Photo via Huntsman

A Houston-based global leader of innovative chemistries strengthened its research and development capabilities by opening a new international innovation center.

Huntsman Corp. celebrated the opening of the new R&D center in Tienen, Belgium, on June 13.

The 11,000-square-meter facility is a world-scale analytical laboratory; two machine halls; and fully equipped and automated product testing facilities. According to the company, the facility will assist with the “journey from the formulation of initial ideas at lab scale through to the manufacture of novel systems and samples ready for customers to trial.”

The innovation center will house more than 100 scientists from the company's polyurethanes and performance products. In key markets, which include adhesives, coatings and sealants; automotive; elastomers; energy; furniture and bedding, and insulation, will support the application of Huntsman technologies. The polyurethanes division is a global leader in MDI-based polyurethanes, which serves more than 3,000 customers in over 90 countries worldwide.

The inauguration event on June 13 was attended by more than 100 customers, suppliers, the mayor of Tienen and business partners. The event also included presentations from Huntsman's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman, and Tony Hankins, President of Huntsman's polyurethane business.

"Today marks a significant milestone as we officially open the doors to our new European innovation center, a facility dedicated to creativity, collaboration and progress," Huntsman says in a news release. "We already have a rich legacy of innovation in Belgium. This center reflects our continuing commitment to exploring new ideas and turning imaginative concepts into practical solutions that can make a positive impact in the world."

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A View From HETI

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Occidental Petroleum’s Houston-based carbon capture, utilization and, sequestration (CCUS) subsidiary, 1PointFive, has inked a six-year deal to sell 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removal credits to software giant Microsoft.

In a news release, 1Point5 says this agreement represents the largest-ever single purchase of carbon credits enabled by direct air capture (DAC). DAC technology pulls CO2 from the air at any location, not just where carbon dioxide is emitted.

Under the agreement, the carbon dioxide that underlies the credits will be stored in a below-the-surface saline aquifer and won’t be used to produce oil or gas.

“A commitment of this magnitude further demonstrates how one of the world’s largest corporations is integrating scalable [DAC] into its net-zero strategy,” says Michael Avery, president and general manager of 1PointFive. “Energy demand across the technology industry is increasing, and we believe [DAC] is uniquely suited to remove residual emissions and further climate goals.”

Brian Marrs, senior director for carbon removal and energy at Microsoft, says DAC plays a key role in Microsoft’s effort to become carbon-negative by 2030.

The carbon dioxide will be stored at 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale DAC plant, being built near Odessa. The $1.3 billion Stratos project, which 1Point5 is developing through a joint venture with investment manager BlackRock, is designed to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The facility is scheduled to open in mid-2025.

Aside from Microsoft, organizations that have agreed to buy carbon removal credits from 1Point5 include Amazon, Airbus, All Nippon Airways, the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, and TD Bank.

Occidental says 1PointFive plans to set up more than 100 DAC facilities worldwide by 2035.

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