Exhibitor Spotlight: SEQENS Interview

Lubricant Expo interviewed Marie Legatte, Marketing Manager Advanced Specialties, Seqens.

What is Seqens role within the lubricant industry and how do your technologies benefit the industry?

SEQENS is an integrated global leader in pharmaceutical synthesis and specialty ingredients, delivering outstanding performance, unrivalled market responsiveness and tailor-made solutions to its customers.

In the lubricant industry, SEQENS supports its customers for the development and the formulation of metalworking fluids, protection fluids and greases with a wide offer of technologies, ranging from extreme pressure sulfurized additives, emulsifiers, corrosion inhibitors and antiwear additives, tailor-made overbased calcium sulfonates for metal protection and greases, but also custom manufacturing capacities.

Seqens has an extensive R&D programme that is offered to your customers, please explain the process of how you assist your customers from an early-stage idea to finished products?

We have 2 ways for developing new products.

The first one is a classical internal process, demand pushed by Sales & Marketing and R&D, sometimes following customers’ request but mainly driven by our business plan development, updated every year.

The second one is dedicated to customer need, with a tolling or manufacturing contract offer, which is the fundamental DNA of the Advanced Specialties Business Unit. Thanks to our quotation and R&D teams, we are able to propose very quickly a first project, with an estimated product price, the cost of development and the timing for industrialization.

According to the customer feedback, we can launch very quickly the development phase, then the pilot scale-up and finally the industrial scale-up, followed by a dedicated project team.

Key organic synthesis reactions such as sulfurization, carbonatation, esterification, alkylation, polymerization, halogenation, phosphonation can be made available for the manufacturing of your strategic ingredients. If ever the lubricant BU cannot answer to the customer request, other teams in SEQENS can take over.

Let me remind you that “customer focus” and “agility/reactivity” are 2 of Seqens’ value, and we work so that it is not just words.

What innovations and new product applications are you currently working on?

Due to obvious reasons of confidentiality, we cannot talk about custom projects with our different partners. We have some projects with each of our main customers. It could be on organic chemistry, as a classical chemical supplier, or on application, to find new products to be used, or on processing, to help our customer to find a new way to produce.

For our own range, HSE is a priority for Seqens group, not only for the plant and the lab, but for our products also. And this is the market trend. So, we always work to improve our existing range with 4 mains ideas at the same time:

  • Decrease hazard & labelling (which is already very low)
  • make the product safer for users
  • Decrease environmental impact
  • Improve performances

It was the case for the Kelico® range, and we work for the protection additive line Arcot® also.

The next new product launched will be probably a new additive for the metalworking application before end of this year, thanks to our current technology applied on new raw material.

Last but not least, we will begin a new collaboration in next October, with a famous academic laboratory in France, to understand deeper our grease processing, and find which others lever we could turn on to improve more and more.

Microscopy, tribology… but there will be others communication.

Sustainability is currently at the forefront of the Lubricant industry, how are Seqens contributing to the low carbon targets?

SEQENS is strongly committed to sustainable development and is acting every day to reduce its environmental footprint. For instance, over the last decade, SEQENS has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30% across its industrial facilities at constant scope, in reducing its energy intensity, in transitioning to low-carbon energy and in transforming its activities. Two major projects have been launched recently to keep this trend and will allow to reduce our CO2 emissions by another 40%. We are also working on solvent recycling and energy recovery projects in our plant manufacturing lubricant additives.

Sustainability is also a topic for our customers, so we are developing products whose use phase or end-of-life is more environmentally friendly. For instance, we’ve recently launched some new bio-degradable and bio-sourced high performances greases, which are unique in terms of performances and environmental benefits. 

Seqens have developed the range ARCOT®, a range of anticorrosion additives. Describe how the ARCOT® range works and why they are important?

Let me begin with 3 figures :

  • 5 MT of steel destroyed by corrosion per seconds (150 millions of tons per years)
  • The annual cost of corrosion is over 3% of industrialized country GDP (> €1.3 trillion lost per year)
  • Each year, a quarter of global steel is produced to replace the destroyed part by corrosion

Recycle is the key for the steel economy, but the rust is lost. That’s why anticorrosion protection, and noteworthily ARCOT® Range, is key in sustainability and economy.

ARCOT® are also based on calcium sulfonate chemistry, as Kelico range. There are additives which provide an anticorrosion performance and acts as a protective barrier (physically and chemically). There are used diluted in oil or solvent or water and formulated by our customers. The applications are various such as automotive, industry of metal piece (inter operation processes), transportation of this metal piece, and in fact everywhere metals must be protected. From the tools you could buy at home, to the steel sheet roll passing through the underbody and cavity of car, bridge cable and many others.

We have developed many new products these last two years on this range, with a high focus on SHE, improving labelling, increasing flash point, or to follow the base oil’s trend market with highly refined base stocks, by proposing ARCOT® additive based on Gr II base stocks which gives at the end, higher performances for end product also using Gr II base stocks. Ready to use packages are also proposed to support our customers in formulating.

What are you looking forward to at Lubricant Expo 2022?

After this long period of pandemic, we would be more than happy to meet with the lubricant industry players, exchange about our visions of the market and find new opportunities to cooperate.

SEQENS has a unique technical know-how about carbonatation process and we want every formulators be aware of!

SEQENS will be exhibiting on stand 635