Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas and a company committed to bringing to market products and solutions with high technical performance that are aligned with the principles of the low-carbon economy, announces the conclusion of the conceptual phase of the project to build a green propylene plant.
In 2011, work will be concluded on the basic engineering studies and, once final approval is obtained, the project’s installation will begin, with operational startup expected in the second half of 2013. The plant should require investment of around US$100 million and have minimum green propylene production capacity of 30 kt/year.
To produce green polypropylene, Braskem will adopt technology that has already been proven on an industrial scale and use as an input sugarcane ethanol, which is recognized as the world’s best renewable energy source. The green polypropylene will have the same technical, processability and performance properties as polypropylene made using traditional production routes.
The preliminary eco-efficiency study has shown very favorable results, given the benefits from the environmental advantages of green ethylene. The study was conducted in partnership with Fundação Espaço Eco and was based on conceptual engineering data. Each ton of green polypropylene produced captures and sequesters 2.3 t of CO2.
Braskem considers this plant part of its strategy to develop biopolymers and is committed to expanding its portfolio and production capacity, enabling the growth and adoption of green plastic by a growing number of clients and applications, thereby increasing the product’s benefits for the environment.
Braskem has been working with green polypropylene for a long time. In 2008, during BioJapan, the company announced the production of the first green polypropylene sample made 100% from renewable resources, which was verified in accordance with ASTM D6866. Braskem also has research projects to develop a new production route for green polypropylene, including the partnerships announced with Novozymes in 2009, as well as with UNICAMP and LNBio
Polypropylene is the second most used plastic in the world and features unique properties among all polymers, such as excellent balance of physical properties, possibility of high transparency and high resistance to impacts at low temperatures, high performance in production processes, stability of properties over the long term, low density (which allows for lighter parts) and high versatility in terms of applications.