After developing the first worldwide green polyethylene (plastic resin) certificate, produced from ethane, which results from the sugar cane alcohol, Braskem starts from now its research on propene (raw material taken currently from petrol) base don ethanol in order to have also a polypropylene produced with renewable raw material, said yesterday the company’s president, Jose Caros Grubisich.
Pilot unity of this new operation must receive US$ 5 mns, according to market estimative. Still cautious, Braskem president prefers to not give a term for the products launching, currently being tested in Triunfo (RS) Innovation and Technology Center. “It is greater a technological challenge. We still need to find a process economically viable”, said Grubisich.
“We want all Braskem portfolio have renewable raw material option “, says Luís Fernando Cassinelli, Braskem Technology and Innovation director.
Braskem has present, June, the polyethylene produced from alcohol and expects to the end of 2009 the start of industrial scale production, with capacity for until 200 thousand tons per year and another of polyethylene also for 200 thousand tons per year. The investment will be between US$ 100 mns and US$ 120 mns.
“Currently to take off CO2 is more important then being biodegradable”, said Cassinelli, referring to the green plastic – made from alcohol – which doesn’t becomes biodegradable as many thinks on the first contact with the information, but on the elimination of the carbon dioxide.
By company’s calculations, with a 200 thousand unity, which will consume a sugar cane volume estimated on 5 millions tons yearly, it will be withdraw from atmosphere 620 thousand CO2 tons/year.
Cassinelli admits that the green polyethylene will reach the market at a price until 30% above the conventional resign, but it should conquer market with clients that perceive the innovation added value. Among the niches foreseen are the cosmetics packaging one and the foods one.
Triunfo Innovation and Technology Center, receives 90% of the company’s applied resources on research, an amount which this year reaches $ 26,7 mns. Dos $ 176,7 mns on technology actives for company’s innovation, $ 300 thousand are in Triunfo, with eight pilot unities and 11 laboratories. According to Grubisich, 20% of company’s invoice comes currently from products developed on the last three years, 80% of them in Triunfo. The center Works yet on other research lines such as high performance fibers and nanotechnology, being the first Latin American petrochemical to have a patent on the area.