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Braskem invests US$61m to expand biopolymer production capacity
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:17.Mar.2021

Braskem is expanding its production capacity of green ethylene, the main feedstock derived from sugarcane ethanol which is used in the production of renewable resins. These materials can therefore claim to capture CO2.

 

The raw material is produced at the company's plant in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, whose capacity will be increased from the current 200 kton/year to 260 kton/year. The expansion project, budgeted at US$61 million, will be rolled out in 2021 and should be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2022.

 

“The increase in biopolymer capacity and production reflects healthy growth in demand from society and our partners for sustainable products, which has increased significantly in recent years. It's also a strong signal of Braskem's commitment towards sustainable development,” said Marco Jansen, global biopolymers leader at Braskem.

 

Braskem's analysis of the production of biopolymers from sugarcane started in 2007 at the Technology and Innovation Center in the Triunfo Petrochemical Complex, a large and modern research complex in Latin America.


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Braskem's industrial unit in the Triunfo Petrochemical Complex (RS).


The company invested US$290 million in building the industrial unit and, in 2010, unveiled the world's first polyethylene (PE) produced from renewable resources on an industrial scale, currently represented by the I'm green bio-based brand.

 

In recent years, Braskem also ramped up production, offering new renewable solutions such as the I’m green bio-based EVA, a resin used in the automotive and footwear sectors, amongst others.

 

Braskem’s drive to create solutions from sugarcane is directly connected to its sustainability strategy of increasingly investing in products developed from raw materials derived from renewable resources.

 

Currently, the portfolio of renewable resins is exported to over 30 countries and is already used in the products of more than 250 major brands, such as Allbirds, DUO UK, Grupo Boticário, Join The Pipe, Johnson&Johnson, Natura & Co, Nissin, Shiseido and Tetra Pak.

 

The company’s renewable resins maintain the same quality and versatility of a fossil-based product, but with the advantage of capturing, during the production stage, up to 3.09 tons of CO2 per ton of polyethylene produced and up to 2.1 tons of CO2 per ton of renewable EVA produced.

 

Given that the product has been manufactured by Braskem for 10 years, the company estimates that the solution has averted the emission of 5.54 million tons of CO2 during this period. Thus, the expansion of biopolymer production capacity shall reduce 185 kton of CO2 from Braskem's target to become a carbon neutral company by 2050.

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