Unlocking a Sustainable Future With Green Chemistry

In this interview, AZoM speaks with Dr. Weiqi Hua, the Executive Vice President of Wanhua Chemical and Director of the Wanhua Chemical Research Institute, about his pivotal role in spearheading innovation and sustainability initiatives within the company, and his vision for the future of the chemical industry.

Dr. Weiqi Hua, could you please introduce yourself and describe the professional journey that led you to your current role as CEO of Wanhua Chemical?

Thanks for having me. I am currently serving as the Executive Vice President of Wanhua Chemical and the Director of the Wanhua Chemical Research Institute. My background in chemical engineering, bolstered by a Ph.D. and an MBA, as well as my inclusion in national talent programs, has prepared me for my current responsibilities.

With a focus on engineering technology applications, I have dedicated my career to advancing technological innovations in high-end chemicals and new materials. Since joining Wanhua Chemical in 2001, I have spearheaded numerous national technological research projects, which have propelled advancements in MDI technology and achieved significant milestones like the development of ADI and MDI waste brine recycling.

For those unfamiliar, could you provide an overview of Wanhua Chemical Group and its core business areas?

Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd. is among the leading global suppliers of innovative chemical products. Relying on continuous innovation, commercialized facilities, and efficient operation, we provide customers with more competitive products and solutions.

Wanhua Chemical has always adhered to innovation and the optimization of industrial structures. Our business covers polyurethanes, petrochemicals, performance chemicals, and emerging materials.

From China to the far side of the globe, we have 10 production bases, 18 overseas subsidiaries and offices, and a worldwide logistics network. With over 29,000 employees, we are committed to leveraging collaborations with leading global research institutions and universities to enhance our technological capabilities and sustain our leadership in the chemical industry.

Wanhua Chemical has always adhered to the mission of “Advancing Chemistry, Transforming Lives”. We are committed to providing customers with stable, high-quality, competitive products and efficient services, as well as being a responsible supplier and industry leader.

Our products are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of industries, including homeware and furniture, sports and leisure, automobiles and transportation, building and construction, electronics and electrical appliances, personal care, and green energy.

We will continue to innovate in the field of chemical new materials, lead the development of the industry, and create a better life for mankind!

More on Green Chemistry: How can Green Chemistry Help us Reach Key Sustainability Goals?

Wanhua operates globally and has numerous facilities and offices. Could you discuss the strategies used to manage and integrate these global operations?

Wanhua Chemical operates numerous facilities and offices worldwide. We effectively manage and coordinate our global operations, ensuring high efficiency, innovation, and customer satisfaction across diverse markets.

1) Innovative Products

Wanhua Chemical has been an innovator and pioneer in the development and application of high-performance materials that meet the evolving demands of various industries. Innovation is at the core of Wanhua Chemical’s strategy. We provide more competitive products and solutions to global customers with “good products, good service, good brand”. We continuously invest in research and development to create cutting-edge solutions that address the evolving needs of our customers. In the future, we will make use of AI to accelerate the exploration of cutting-edge technologies and become a leader in synthetic biology, electrochemistry, CO2 comprehensive utilization, and other technologies.

2) Global Services

We manage our global operations through a robust network of production facilities and offices strategically located in key markets worldwide. Wanhua Chemical has built up 10 key production complexes in Yantai, Penglai, Ningbo, Sichuan, Fujian, Zhuhai and Ningxia in China, and Hungary, Czech Republic, which are integrated with complete supporting facilities. To provide our customers worldwide with competitive products and comprehensive solutions, Wanhua has established 6 R&D centers in Yantai, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Beijing in China, as well as in Spain and Hungary, set up 18 subsidiaries and offices in more than ten countries and regions across Asia, Europe, the United States, etc. Wanhua Chemical effectively manages and coordinates its global operations, ensuring high efficiency, innovation, and customer satisfaction across its diverse markets.

3) Global Supply-chain Network

Wanhua Chemical has developed an extensive global supply network to ensure efficient logistics, warehousing, and supply chain management. We establish warehouses in strategic locations around the world to facilitate quick distribution and minimize delivery times. Implementing advanced logistics solutions to streamline the transportation of raw materials and finished products. This includes strategic partnerships with leading logistics providers to enhance delivery speed and reliability. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology to integrate the supply chain, enabling real-time tracking and management of inventory, orders, and shipments. This ensures a seamless flow of materials and products, reducing lead times and costs.

We leverage local expertise while maintaining global quality standards, ensuring responsive supply chain management. Our strategy includes forming strong local partnerships, understanding regional market dynamics, and adhering to local regulations while maintaining global standards. We foster innovation through regional R&D hubs that cater to local customer needs while being part of a globally integrated R&D strategy.

Unlocking a Sustainable Future With Green Chemistry: A Conversation With Wanhua Chemical

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Innovation is a key pillar at Wanhua. Could you elaborate on how this focus has driven the company’s success in the chemical industry?

Innovation is a central pillar for Wanhua Chemical and has been instrumental in driving our success in the chemical industry. In 2023 alone, our investment in R&D was substantial, amounting to 4.08 billion yuan. From 2018 to 2023, we invested a total of 16.02 billion yuan in R&D-related expenditures, including salaries for our researchers and various technological studies. Our approach to innovation encompasses several key areas:

1) Integrated R&D Innovation System

We have established a multi-faceted innovation system that includes fundamental research, process development, scaling, industrialization, and product application R&D. This system is supported by our global R&D center, regional technical service centers focused on application innovation, technical centers at major production bases for process optimization, and collaborative labs with universities and research institutes. This comprehensive framework ensures that our innovation efforts are well-coordinated and targeted towards both core and emerging technologies.

2) Culture of Innovation and Equity

We emphasize a culture where innovation is supported and rewarded. We have abandoned the notion of relying on imported technology, focusing instead on indigenous innovation. This shift is underscored by our historical attempts to negotiate technology transfers with foreign companies, which underscored the importance of self-reliance. Our high-quality growth is a direct result of prioritizing technological innovation, which is centrally managed and generously funded. We offer significant incentives for the development of new products and technologies, including profit-based bonuses and substantial rewards for successful long-term strategic research projects.

3) Reform and Efficient Management for Innovation

After our company’s overall listing in 2019, we streamlined our management structure to enhance efficiency and de-bureaucratize research activities. This reorganization has not only increased our operational efficiency but has also elevated the status of scientists and senior researchers, aligning their compensation with senior executives to reflect their contribution and value.

We also foster a tolerant attitude towards failure, recognizing that innovation is challenging and often accompanied by setbacks. For instance, our development of ADI and other core technologies like PC and Nylon 12 took over a decade each, marked by both progress and delays. However, we maintain a culture that encourages persistence and resilience, inspiring our teams to overcome obstacles and achieve technological breakthroughs.

Wanhua Chemical has developed proprietary technologies in core materials, leading to more efficient, sustainable chemical processes and products. This innovation-driven approach has not only strengthened our competitive edge but also positioned us as industry leaders in environmental stewardship and high-performance materials, which are crucial for maintaining our lead in the chemical sector globally.

With a strong emphasis on high-tech and high-value-added chemical new materials, could you discuss how Wanhua’s technological innovations are shaping the industries you serve?

Wanhua Chemical’s technological innovation in high-tech and high-value-added new materials promotes the development of the industry in which it operates and meets the growing social demand for high-end materials.

1) Societal Demand for High-End Materials

POE (Polyolefin Elastomer)

Wanhua Chemical’s WANSUPER® POE product represents a significant breakthrough after years of technological development. As a high-end polyolefin material, POE has high technical barriers and unique performance advantages, making it widely applicable in photovoltaics, modifications, medical fields, and packaging.

In the photovoltaic sector, WANSUPER® POE films exhibit high moisture barrier properties, excellent weather resistance, outstanding transparency, and strong anti-PID performance. These features significantly enhance the efficiency of photovoltaic modules and extend their lifespan. This innovation aligns with the rapid rise of N-type cells, which require higher performance from encapsulation films. Additionally, Wanhua has established a joint venture with Foster and Trina Solar to develop a new POE film ecosystem, enhancing the competitiveness of photovoltaic power generation in the global energy transition.

In the automotive industry, the trend towards lightweight vehicles drives the demand for advanced composite materials. WANSUPER® POE’s low density and excellent weather resistance make it ideal for blending with PP for use in automotive parts such as bumpers, airbag covers, and sound insulation pads. As the penetration of new energy vehicles increases, the demand for POE is expected to grow rapidly.

 Nylon 12

In response to the booming new energy sector, Wanhua Chemical has developed Wanamid® Nylon 12, which is crucial for enhancing the safety and durability of lithium-ion battery packs. Nylon 12 boasts low water absorption, ultra-low density, and exceptional dimensional stability. It performs well in harsh environments, with excellent low-temperature impact resistance, high-temperature endurance, and corrosion resistance. These properties make it indispensable in the new energy industry, particularly for battery packs in electric vehicles, which require materials that support lightweight and efficiency.

Busbars, crucial for current collection and distribution in battery systems, benefit from Nylon 12’s superior solvent resistance, explosion resistance, and insulation properties. Compared to traditional processes like plastic dipping and injection molding, extruded Nylon 12 busbars offer higher production efficiency, lower overall costs, and greater design flexibility.

2) Continuous technological upgrading

To meet the growing demand for faster and more efficient refrigerator production, Wanhua Chemical’s researchers have spent decades developing a revolutionary demolding solution. By innovating in the molecular structures of raw materials, developing composite catalysts, and refining system formulations, Wanhua has introduced a world-leading ultra-fast demolding solution for home appliances. This breakthrough achieves a 60-second demolding time, significantly enhancing production efficiency—leading the industry by reducing the demolding time by 30 seconds—and also reducing energy consumption. This technological advancement is driving transformation and upgrading within the home appliance industry.

Wanhua’s technological innovations are not merely about developing new materials but are also about redefining how these materials can contribute to global sustainability goals. By continuing to focus on high-tech and high-value-added solutions, we ensure that the industries we serve are equipped with materials that are efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible, leading to a more sustainable future.

Wanhua is committed to green and intelligent development. Can you provide examples of how this commitment is reflected in your operational practices or product development?

Wanhua is dedicated to sustainable development, as evident in our strategies to reduce carbon emissions and our investments in green technologies.

1) Development of Biodegradable Materials

Wanhua Chemical has introduced the Waneco® series, which includes PBAT, PLA, and PBS resin and modified material solutions. These biodegradable materials are designed for various applications such as food utensils, daily packaging, express packaging, agricultural mulch films, medical use, and 3D printing. By promoting the use of biodegradable materials, Wanhua is actively working to reduce plastic pollution and lower the carbon footprint, ensuring a more sustainable coexistence with nature.

2) Physical/Chemical Recycling

Wanhua Chemical emphasizes the importance of advanced recycling methods. Through continuous research and development, we aim to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of physical and chemical recycling processes. As a successful business model, Waneco® rPC is made from recycled polycarbonate automotive lamps and water buckets, with a carbon emissions reduction of up to 50 % compared to the virgin material. Another example is our Wanthane® G7530, which contains 30 % recycled TPU; it is traceable digitally throughout the value chain and reduces carbon emissions by 20 %. Wanhua Chemical has proposed a full life cycle solution for polyurethane rigid foam with an innovative chemical recycling process. The foam made from re-generated polyol recovered from waste foam shows comparable performance and cost to virgin ones.

3) CCUS Technology

Wanhua has established a Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) platform. This platform leverages advanced catalyst development and production integration to facilitate the recycling of CO2. The captured carbon is repurposed for sustainable production across various industries, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to global climate change mitigation efforts.

These examples illustrate Wanhua Chemical’s active role in pursuing green and intelligent development through innovative materials and technologies that address critical environmental issues.​

How does Wanhua Chemical integrate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into its daily operations and long-term strategy? Could you provide examples of impactful CSR initiatives?

Wanhua Chemical integrates Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into its daily operations and long-term strategy through various impactful initiatives, focusing on safety, sustainability, and community engagement.

1) Safety in Parks and for Employees

Wanhua Chemical places a strong emphasis on the safety of its industrial parks and employees. We believe all incidents can be avoided. Our overarching goal is to achieve “zero harm, zero accidents, zero emissions” while building a sustainable, ecologically conscious, and modern chemical enterprise. To realize this vision, we have devised a long-term safety management strategy and invested in advanced safety systems and protocols to ensure a safe working environment. This commitment to safety is also reflected in the rigorous safety training programs for employees and regular safety audits of our facilities.

2) Building a Sustainable Ecosystem

Wanhua Chemical collaborates with both upstream and downstream partners to create a sustainable ecosystem. The company is a member of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, which aims to enhance sustainability practices across the chemical industry supply chain. Additionally, Wanhua Chemical has implemented significant improvements and upgrades in packaging practices, introducing a green packaging model featuring shared turnover boxes to replace conventional steel drums. Throughout the lifecycle of a turnover box with a volume of one cubic meter, it undergoes approximately 70 cycles. As a result, the cumulative number of traditional disposable steel drums that can be substituted is approximately 349.67 (each drum having a specification of 208 liters). This substitution significantly diminishes the cost associated with solid waste treatment. Compared to iron drum transportation, the adoption of turnover boxes substantially reduces carbon emissions throughout their entire lifecycle. Specifically, each turnover box results in a reduction of approximately 11.84 metric tons of CO₂equivalent emissions.

3) Social Responsibility Activities

Wanhua Chemical actively engages in various social responsibility activities. We donate to charitable causes and participate in educational activities such as the “Wonder Lab,” which aims to stimulate and educate young students’ interest in chemistry so that more people can understand that chemistry is all around and makes life better! These initiatives reflect our commitment to giving back to the community and supporting educational development.

These initiatives contribute to societal and environmental betterment and enhance our corporate reputation and stakeholder trust, which are integral to our sustainable business model.

You have set ambitious carbon reduction goals in green chemistry. What specific strategies are you employing to ensure these targets are met, particularly the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2048?

Wanhua Chemical announced the company’s carbon reduction goals in 2023, promising to achieve a carbon peak by no later than 2030 and strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2048, and continuously promoting the low-carbon development of the whole industrial chain with technological innovation, energy transformation, and cooperation along the value chain.

Guided by this goal, we are transforming our energy structure to clean electricity and other low-carbon energy sources and taking measures to decarbonize our production and operations progressively.

Unlocking a Sustainable Future With Green Chemistry: A Conversation With Wanhua Chemical

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1) Clean Energy

Wanhua Chemical’s goal for achieving zero-carbon electricity is to ensure that by 2030, over 50% of the electricity used at all its production bases in China comes from clean sources, with the aim of reaching 100% by 2035.

In 2023, we deliberately raised our clean electricity share through cooperative purchasing. The introduction of renewable energy sources and nuclear power will significantly increase the share of low-carbon electricity, facilitating the transformation of clean energy. Wanhua Chemical is also increasing our clean energy share, including wind power, solar PV, and nuclear through direct equity investment:

Zhaoyuan Agricultural-Photovoltaic Complementary Project

Wanhua Chemical’s 120 MW agricultural-photovoltaic complementary solar power generation project, invested in and constructed in Zhaoyuan, Yantai City, Shandong Province, was officially connected to the grid and put into operation in 2023. The project will generate 170 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, equivalent to reducing 170,000 tons of carbon emissions.

Longkou Offshore Wind Power Project

The offshore wind project Wanhua invested in Huaneng’s BW site in the north of the Shandong Peninsula was partially connected to the grid in 2023. The project has a planned installed capacity of 510 MW. It is planned to install 60 offshore wind turbines with a single capacity of 8.5 MW, with an annual on-grid capacity of 1.6 billion kWh and an annual CO emissions reduction of 1.24 million tons.

Fujian Offshore Wind Power Project

Following the registration of Lianjiang Longyuan Wanhua New Energy Co., Ltd. in 2023, a joint venture of Wanhua Chemical and Guoneng Group, a 310 MWp offshore wind power project located on the main island of Matsu Islands, the largest island in Fujian Province, is under construction. It is planned to install 23 wind turbines with a single capacity of 13.6 MW, realizing an annual power generation of 1.45 billion kWh and an annual CO₂ emissions reduction of more than 800,000 tons.

2) Energy Efficiently

Wanhua Chemical has made significant strides in reducing energy intensity through continuous optimization measures, including facility energy-saving initiatives, energy integration, and improvements in energy efficiency across its industrial parks. These efforts have resulted in steam savings of 223 tons per hour and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 450,000 tons per year.

        Wanhua Chemical -Hehai Heat Integration Project

Fully operational by the end of 2023, this innovative project employs “zero-carbon” heating technology to provide heating for residents in Yantai without burning coal, thus significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. By recycling and processing waste heat generated from chemical production and integrating energy distribution stations within the park into the civilian heating network, the project delivers clean energy to numerous households across the city. Additionally, it supplies a high-quality alternative heat source for various facilities within the industrial park, utilizing proprietary technologies. This groundbreaking initiative is set to supply clean heating to 79 million square meters of residential buildings in Yantai, benefiting over 100,000 families.

 Hydrogen Chloride Circulation

Wanhua Chemical adopts innovative HCl catalytic oxidation technology to convert the by-product HCl from the MDI facility into chlorine gas. This technology features a world-pioneering non-precious metal catalyst and fluidized bed process and is able to directly convert HCl under mild conditions. The process has the advantages of high reaction efficiency, environmental friendliness, low fixed investment and operating costs, and it has become the first Chinese case to enter the finalist of Chemical Week’s Sustainable Award: best recycling/circularity initiative. Recently, the hydrogen chloride recycling and oxidation project has been further improved in efficiency and capacity by technological upgrades, including catalyst and facilities, contributing to our path to circular economy.

Fujian Nitric Acid Electrification Project

In 2023, China’s largest nitric acid facility with the lowest carbon emissions was established in Wanhua Chemical Fujian Industrial Park. Through designs such as process electrification and nitrous oxide emission reduction, etc., the single unit had an annual GHG emission reduction of 925,000 tons annually. With the combination of clean electricity and cutting-edge process technologies, we are reshaping our industrial layout.

3) Innovative Technology

“Road to Water” Project for Container Cargo

In 2023, Wanhua Chemical, in collaboration with Fugang Group and OOCL, initiated the “Road to Water” project in Fujian to transition full container load (FCL) cargo from road to water transport. This shift reduces the carbon footprint and reliance on land transportation, which can often be less timely and available. Additionally, Wanhua is advancing its sustainability efforts by working to replace internal combustion engine (ICE) trucks with electric ones, aiming to achieve further social and economic benefits.

New Green Practices in Transportation of PVC Bulk

In November 2023, Wanhua Chemical initiated the first truckload of bulk PVC delivery, transitioning from conventional packaging to tank storage for PVC powders. This change significantly reduces solid waste and the carbon footprint. This initiative follows the company’s innovative implementation of “FFS Film Packaging” and “Shared Pallet” systems, further enhancing its environmental sustainability efforts.

Relying on continuous technological innovation and operational optimization, Wanhua Chemical is minimizing the impact of its own business on climate, environment, and resources and will work with partners to continuously promote carbon reduction in the value chain.

Wanhua has seen significant expansion over the years. Can you share some insights on the company’s growth strategy and how it aligns with its global aspirations?

Wanhua Chemical has experienced significant growth over the years by focusing on high-tech, high-value-added chemical products and materials. Our strategy is deeply rooted in a commitment to innovation, operational excellence, and the development of human resources. We nurture a culture of continuous improvement and technological advancement, positioning ourselves at the forefront of the chemical industry. By integrating green and sustainable practices into our operations, we ensure that environmental stewardship remains a central element of our growth. Additionally, our embrace of digital transformation has enhanced our operational efficiency and effectiveness, making our processes smarter and more adaptive.

Wanhua’s global expansion strategy is designed to bolster our presence in international markets, with the aspiration to become a leading Fortune 500 company. We concentrate on delivering high-end, integrated chemical solutions that cater to a wide array of customer needs. Overall, our growth strategy is in harmony with our global ambitions, setting the stage for continued expansion and success on the world stage.

Unlocking a Sustainable Future With Green Chemistry: A Conversation With Wanhua Chemical

Image Credit: Wanhua Chemical

The Barcelona R&D Center is a significant addition to Wanhua’s global presence. What led to the decision to establish this center in Barcelona, and what does it signify for the company?

The decision to establish the Barcelona R&D Center was driven by several strategic factors, some of which I have outlined below.

  1. Showcasing Wanhua Innovation to Central and Western Europe: Barcelona serves as a gateway to Europe and a hub of innovation, making it an ideal location for Wanhua to showcase its technology and products to clients and partners in Central and Western Europe. Establishing the technology center will help strengthen our brand and reputation in Europe, further increasing our market share.
  2. Access to Industry Talent: Barcelona boasts a large pool of highly skilled and diverse talent, with leading universities and research centers in the city. This will provide Wanhua with a range of industry experts and professionals who can help drive innovation and enhance our technical and R&D capabilities.
  3. Collaboration with Leading Research Institutions: Barcelona is home to several leading research institutions, such as the Catalonia Institute of Chemical Research (ICIQ) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). These institutions offer Wanhua opportunities to collaborate with leading scientists and researchers, leveraging their expertise and resources.
  4. Collaborative Cooperation between Business Departments: By co-locating different specialized chemical departments in a technical center in Barcelona, Wanhua Chemicals can benefit from rich collaboration and knowledge-sharing ecosystems with clients, local industries, and research institutions, leading to productive cooperation, accelerated innovation, and business development in Europe.
  5. Unique Advantages for the North African and Latin American Markets: Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Barcelona boasts a strategic location that is conducive to business dealings with the North African and Latin American regions. As a key representative of Latin culture within Spain, Barcelona shares a language and cultural background similar to Latin America, which facilitates closer connections with the Latin American market. This commonality helps reduce cultural barriers and communication costs, enhancing business interactions and partnerships.
  6. Proximity to the Flavor and Fragrance Chemical Industry: Barcelona is a significant global flavor and fragrance chemical hub, home to numerous leading companies and research centers. This positioning provides our flavor and nutrition business with valuable opportunities to stay updated on the latest industry trends. Additionally, it facilitates collaboration for knowledge-sharing and forming partnerships, further enhancing our capabilities and reach in this dynamic market.

What are the immediate goals for the Barcelona R&D Center, and how do they align with Wanhua’s broader strategic objectives?

By co-locating different specialized chemical departments, the R&D center will focus on rapid response to customer needs, technical consultation, product development support, and quality improvement in fine chemicals and material sciences. These areas are crucial for enhancing our product offerings and support services in the coatings, adhesives, and engineering plastics industries, such as Acrylic resins, Waterborne resins, PMMA, and PC/ABS, which have significant demand in Western Europe and Latin America.

Sustainable development is a key research and development cooperation direction at Wanhua Chemical’s Barcelona Technology Center, reflecting our sense of responsibility and strategic planning in facing global sustainable development challenges. We will actively collaborate with local universities, research institutions, and businesses to explore innovative projects and best practices in sustainable development, contributing to the our sustainable development goals.

Currently, ongoing research and development directions include:

1) Green Chemical Technology Research

The Barcelona Technology Center will focus on the cooperative development of green chemical technologies, such as biosynthesis, biomaterials, and biodegradable materials. These technologies can help reduce resource consumption, minimize environmental pollution, and save costs in the production process.

2) Utilization of Renewable Energy

The technology center will collaborate with local energy research institutions to explore the application of renewable energy in chemical production. For example, using clean energy sources like solar and wind energy for processes like electrolytic hydrogen production and electrolytic oxygen production to achieve carbon neutrality and energy conservation.

3) Circular Economy and Waste Utilization

Research in the circular economy focuses on maximizing resource utilization through waste and recycling. Technological innovations enable the transformation of waste into valuable chemical products, thereby minimizing resource waste and mitigating environmental pollution. This approach not only promotes sustainability but also adds economic value by turning what would otherwise be discarded into useful materials.

4) Sustainable Product Development

The technology center can collaborate with customers to develop products that are in line with the concept of sustainable development. These products may have characteristics such as low carbon emissions, environmental friendliness, and biodegradability, meeting consumers’ demand for environmental protection and health and enhancing our market competitiveness.

5) International Cooperation and Standard-Setting

Actively participating in international cooperation, collaborating with other industry-leading companies, research institutions, international organizations, etc., to jointly establish sustainable development standards and technical specifications, promoting the sustainable development process of the industry.

In closing, could you share any upcoming projects or initiatives that stakeholders and investors should be particularly excited about?

Wanhua Chemical is set to launch its latest product, the Nylon 12 Elastomer-PEBA. This high-performance elastomer boasts unique physical and chemical properties, offering immense potential for innovative solutions in the elastomer platform.

Leveraging our comprehensive industrial chain, Wanhua is dedicated to delivering products with unique value, thereby enhancing our customers’ product capabilities and driving industry-wide innovation. Our PEBA, along with TPU and POE products, are set to enhance our foam shoe material solutions, providing diverse and superior options. We are eager to collaborate with partners to build an “ecosystem” centered on technological innovation and the development of high-performance products, all aimed at enhancing consumer experiences.

About Dr. Weiqi Hua

Dr. Weiqi Hua, born in March 1972, holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and is recognized as an expert with a State Council Government Special Allowance. He has dedicated his career to the innovation and transformation of high-end chemicals such as isocyanates and new chemical materials, leading an innovation team of over 2,000 members. Mr. Hua has headed more than 10 major national technical projects, including those under the National Programs for Science and Technology Development, the National Sci-Tech Support Plan, and the National High-tech R&D Program of China (863 Program).

His leadership has driven significant advancements in MDI manufacturing and the green manufacturing of Halcon-method PO, among other industrial key technologies. Mr. Hua has also successfully addressed several critical technologies, including aliphatic isocyanates (ADI), Nylon 12 (PA12), and high-performance polyolefin elastomers (POE), resulting in over 200 invention patents. His efforts have led to the establishment of China’s first Nylon 12 unit and the world’s largest MDI and ADI industrialization units, which have collectively generated sales revenues exceeding 230 billion RMB. These achievements have substantially strengthened China’s chemical industry in terms of independent innovation and high-quality development.

Under his guidance, the ADI team was honored with the ‘National Outstanding Engineer Team’ award in its inaugural presentation. Mr. Hua himself has been recognized nationally, being selected for the ‘WR Plan’ as a leading talent and acknowledged as a Young and Middle-Aged Leading Talent in Technology. His contributions have earned him numerous accolades, including the China Youth Science and Technology Award, the Qiu Shi Science and Technologies Foundation Award, and the Shandong Province Highest Award in Science and Technology. Additionally, he has received the National Science and Technology Progress Award (one first prize, one second prize) and the National Technological Invention Award (one second prize).

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