Braskem Invests $61 Million to Increase Biopolymer Production

The unit producing green ethylene will see an increase in capacity of 260 kton/year

2 Min Read
Braskem’s industrial unit in the Triunfo Petrochemical Complex (RS), where the company produces thermoplastic resins from sugarcane ethanol. Image courtesy of Braskem

Braskem is expanding its production capacity of green ethylene, the main feedstock derived from sugarcane ethanol, used in the production of renewable resins.

These materials can therefore claim to capture CO2, a greenhouse gas. This 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 $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 which reflects the values of our supply chain partners and our customers. Our business expansion aims to consolidate Braskem’s leadership of the biopolymers market,” 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, the sector’s largest and most modern research complex in Latin America. The company invested $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 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. In 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Global Compact’s Brazil Network recognized the I’m green brand as one of Brazil’s most transformational cases in sustainable development.

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 more than 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.

“It is no longer possible to think of a business model that does not consider production processes with the least environmental impact and circular economy practices. The world has numerous challenges ahead, such as climate change and the availability of natural resources like water. As an important driver of development in diverse economic sectors, Braskem assumes joint responsibility for helping the market to move in the right direction,” added Jansen.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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