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Braskem Expands Innovation and Technology Center in US

Image courtesy of Braskem Braskem.jpg
The $10 million project at the research and development site in Pittsburgh, PA was completed this month.

Petrochemical firm Braskem has wrapped up its $10 million expansion of the firm’s US Innovation and Technology (I&T) Center in Pittsburgh, PA, adding eight R&D labs with new equipment, the company announced Tuesday. The new assets will help the company to support its activities in Catalysis, Recycling, and 3D Printing.

“The successful completion of our US I&T Center expansion is designed to house the latest cutting-edge equipment for research, which will allow Braskem to explore new avenues for growth,” Srivatsan Iyer, vice president of strategy for Braskem, said in a release. “These new world class laboratories complement the diverse expertise of our I&T team members, and support Braskem’s innovation goals, especially in the areas of circular economy, sustainability, and recycling, as well as additive manufacturing.”

The expansion adds catalysis and petrochemical process technology capabilities to the Pittsburgh site, as well as 3D printing research capabilities, and advanced polymer characterization laboratories.

Scientists at the I&T Center will research and test methods of converting mixed post-consumer plastics into new raw materials for plastics.

“We have a clear value proposition when we make products with a lower carbon footprint or use plastic waste in a circular fashion. Our clients and brand owners have programs focused on these important areas, yet many don’t have in-house technology capabilities to do this R&D intensive work on their own,” said Gilfranque Leite, Braskem’s Innovation and Technology Director, in a statement. “In partnering with Braskem, we can directly support them in achieving their sustainability goals, as well as create really exciting and distruptive technologies in our Pittsburgh I&T Center.”

Last month, the Brazilian-owned firm announced the start of operations on a new $750 million polypropylene line at its La Porte, TX plant, Powder & Bulk Solids reported. The new asset can produce over 1 billion lb/yr of products from the firm’s polypropylene portfolio.

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