The past few years have witnessed the emergence of bio-feedstocks and bio-based commodity polymers production. Rising oil prices, rising consumer consciousness and improving economics of production have heralded commercialization of bioplastics. This sector continues to face many challenges and will continue to be impacted by factors such as quality, economic viability, and scale of operation. A snapshot of some of the better-known products will provide insight into common challenges faced by these processes and products, as reported by ICIS.
The premium is expected to drop with the entry of more commercial bio-based PE producers as well as with further development of technology. Dow Chemical and Japan’s Mitsui completed a 50:50 joint venture for sugarcane-to-PE project in Brazil. With capacity of 350,000 tpa the plant will produce DOWLEX PE.
Under construction is Braskem’s 30,000-50,000 tpa bio-based polypropylene (PP) plant, expected to come on line in 2013, based on ethanol (propylene via ethylene dimerization followed by metathesis). Japan-based Mazda’s Bioplastic Project is developing bio-based PP derived from cellulosic biomass, to be used in vehicles by 2013.
Tags: bio-based PP, PET, PEF, PlantBottle, PX, PLA, PVC, PC, isosorbide, PHA, PBS, Bio-succinic acid
Source: Plastemart, 2012-07-14.