Bioplastic Renewable Materials Lanxess To Produce Bioplastic EPDM from Renewable Materials in Brasil

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Speciality Chemicals company Lanxess announced plans to produce bioplastic EPDM from renewable sources by the end of 2011 at Triunfo, Brazil.

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Aerial view of Lanxess' production site at the Triunfo chemical complxe, Brasil. The company plans to produce bio-based EPDM rubber at Triunfo within the current year. (Picture: Lanxess)
Aerial view of Lanxess' production site at the Triunfo chemical complxe, Brasil. The company plans to produce bio-based EPDM rubber at Triunfo within the current year. (Picture: Lanxess)

Leverkusen/Germany; Sao Paulo/Brazil – Lanxess has announced plans to commercially produce ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) from bio-based ethylene by the end of 2011 – according to company speakers, this bio–based EPDM production would be the first of its kind worldwide. Conventional EPDM is made from petroleum based feedstock (ethylene and propylene). Lanxess aims to use ethylene produced from Brazilian sugar cane as a renewable raw material. This bio-ethylene will be supplied by Brasilian Braskem to an existing Lanxess EPDM plant at the Triunfo chemical complex, Brazil.

“Lanxess will contribute to broaden our portfolio of renewable chemicals’ clients. This agreement will bring the benefits of green ethylene to other important applications and markets. Lanxess has extensive automotive experience and an excellent reputation in this market, which makes it an ideal partner,” stated Marcelo Nunes, Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Director.

Bioplastics at Trifuno Profit from Available Materials

At Triunfo, Lanxess currently produces 40,000 tons/year of regular EPDM rubber, a polymer that is used in the automotive industry but also in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries. Its properties include very low density, good resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering as well as good electrical insulation properties. “Lanxess’ ongoing search for alternatives to fossil fuels underlines its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions through sustainable production,” said Guenther Weymans, head of Lanxess’ Technical Rubber Products business unit. “We are very excited that our Brazilian plant will be the pioneer for bio-based EPDM.”

The company also works on other bio–rubbers: Together with Colorado-based Gevo Lanxess is developing isobutene from renewable resources starting with corn. Isobutene is a key raw material needed in the manufacture of butyl rubber. Analysts predict bioplastic to become an important raw material, especially in the packaging industry.

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