Health & Nutrition

ACC Members Contributions to Health & Nutrition

Supporting the Trend toward Plant-Based Foods while Incorporating Circular Economy Practices

Sustainability Challenge:

Reduction in global consumption of meat products is important to help reduce the impacts of climate change, according to the United Nations.

Chemistry Solution:

Ashland’s Benecel™ MX modified cellulose food product provides a plant-based alternative to meat.

Sustainability Benefit:

Plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food could free up several million square kilometers of land by 2050 and cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent.

To address the need to efficiently and effectively feed a growing global population, as well as help fight climate change, conserve land and water use and improve food security, the United Nations has recommended decreasing global meat consumption. Plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food could free up several million square kilometers of land by 2050 and cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Ashland has developed an innovative plant-based, meat-alternative food product to help address global food needs. Benecel™ MX modified cellulose (methylcellulose) is a cellulose-based product specially formulated for meat-alternative and vegetable-based applications.

Ashland SustainabilityBenecel™ MX can provide a firm bite for products meant to simulate meat products like sausages, meatballs and ham, binding to replace eggs, and can help retain moisture to provide an enjoyable eating experience.

Additionally, at its Benecel™ MX manufacturing site in Belgium, Ashland has taken steps to decrease the environmental impacts of its operations through initiatives that have helped reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and conserve water at the facility.

The manufacturing processes for Benecel can require a significant amount of steam. Instead of burning gas to generate steam on-site and adding an environmental burden, Ashland worked with a neighboring facility that produces a large amount of surplus steam through its waste incinerator processes to create a steam network that has resulted in reduction of burned gas and fewer emissions to the environment.

Overall, the project will provide a GHG reduction equivalent to the energy from 50 windmills, helping Ashland meet it 2020 environmental goals of 10 percent energy reduction and GHG emissions.

The facility also generates wastewater with high salt content, which must undergo on-site biological treatment before being released into the local river. Ashland set an agreement with an adjacent site to receive their rainwater and water drainage and added these new water sources to its on-site rainwater collection points to help treat salty wastewater streams.

The amount of water sourced this way is estimated at 64,000 cubic meters per year, equivalent to 26 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

ExxonMobil Chemical Polymers Help Protect Crops in a Variety of Agricultural Applications

Sustainability Challenge:

A growing global population needs access to a plentiful, healthy food supply.

Chemistry Solution:

Durable agriculture films made from polyethylene polymers help extend growing seasons, promote crop growth and reduce food waste and spoilage.

Sustainability Benefit:

Farmers can produce a range of crops to address global food needs.

With the global population expected to expand by 2 billion people over the next 25 years, enhanced agricultural efficiencies are vital to help feed people all around the world.

To help meet this challenge, Exceed™ XP performance polymers, developed by ExxonMobil Chemical, can help protect a broad range of crops in a variety of demanding agricultural applications:

Girl holding carrot packaging
  • Agriculture films made using Exceed XP can preserve agricultural harvests through changing weather conditions and seasons, helping farmers protect and grow their crops. By maintaining integrity in demanding conditions, these films help prevent damage to crops in the field and during handling, reducing the risk of waste and spoilage.

  • Greenhouse cover films made from Exceed XP improve moisture retention, provide temperature management and protect crops from the environmental elements, to help extend growing seasons for fruits, vegetables and flowers. These greenhouse films can help farmers economically increase their efficiency to feed more people, while also helping to conserve resources such as water, nutrients and fertilizers.

  • On farms, long-lasting mulch films can help increase crop production rates and allow farmers to spend time on more productive activities rather than collecting mulch film that has broken down.

  • In addition, durable, crack-resistant films made with Exceed XP help create flexible food packaging like stand-up pouches (SUP) and bags that can withstand demanding environments, such as freezers, or be capable of holding larger and heavier contents. This includes packaging for frozen food, dry food, and meat and cheese products, so brand owners can protect and preserve their food products from production to the table.

Polyethylene Orthopedic Implants Developed by Celanese Can Help People Stay Active & Healthy

Sustainability Challenge:

With an aging global population, the need for high-quality orthopedic implant materials is growing.

Chemistry Solution:

Orthopedic implants developed by Celanese made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene can provide high-quality knee and hip replacements.

Sustainability Benefit:

People can continue to stay active longer, enhancing their health and wellness.

Today, people are living and remaining active longer than ever, and they often want to keep enjoying active hobbies and exercise into their 70s and 80s, and beyond.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 7 million Americans are living with an artificial knee or hip today, and that number is expected to increase. Joint replacement surgery is done primarily to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and to treat fractures, with the goal of enabling patients to resume their normal activities with less pain and stiffness and enjoy a higher quality of life.

ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)Each year, about 3 million joint replacement procedures are performed globally, the majority of which incorporate ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) as the articulating bearing surface to cushion prosthetic parts in hips, knees and other joints.

GUR® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, developed by Celanese, is a premium grade material that is often a choice in orthopedic implants for artificial hips, knees and other large joints for more than 40 years.

UHMWPE is a bio-compatible, chemically inert, strong, tough polymer with good load bearing resistance. It is self-lubricating, mimicking the natural lubricity between the cartilage and the joint. With a significantly higher molecular weight than standard polyethylene, UHMWPE exhibits high performing impact strength for energy absorption and excellent abrasion/wear resistance, enabling artificial knees and hips to last longer, so seniors can continue participating in the activities that they enjoy.

Today, most implants are treated by modern irradiation techniques for sterilization and performance improvement. To further enhance safety of implants, Celanese technology innovations include Vitamin E (anti-oxidant) filled grades that help prevent oxidation and degradation in the mechanical properties of the implants.

The extensive clinical history of UHMWPE materials continues to expand beyond its original end use in orthopedics into new potential applications.


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