1 April 2008

Braskem produces linear bio-polyethylene

New technological route using biobutene

Braskem announced the first certified linear polyethylene in the world made from 100% renewable raw materials, confirming its technological leadership in the production of green polymers and its commitment to sustainable development. This achievement was obtained through the development of technology using biobutene, which will enable Braskem to expand its line of green polyethylene.

This announcement represents a new landmark in Braskem’s biopolymer development program, initiated in June 2007, with the launch of the first green resin, a high density polyethylene geared towards markets that demand products with superior performance and quality, underscoring the automobile, food packaging, cosmetic and personal hygiene industries.

Development of the linear polyethylene is in line with the company’s strategy to improve competitiveness and create value through technology and innovation. “This achievement once again demonstrates the capacity of our teams to be at the forefront of rupture technology research,” says José Carlos Grubisich, president of Braskem. “Furthermore, it reinforces our commitment to promote sustainable development, in tune with society’s aspirations on behalf of initiatives that firmly contribute towards carbon dioxide gas emission reductions in the atmosphere.”

The linear polyethylene was certified by one of the most important international laboratories, Beta Analytic, attesting that the product is made from 100% renewable raw material, and its patent has already been deposited by the company. The new biopolymer was developed at the Braskem Technology and Innovation Center, the most modern and best equipped in the sector in Latin America, with technological assets worth R$ 330 million (about EUR 120 million), including 8 pilot plants.

Antonio Morschbacker, the technician responsible for biopolymers at the company, explains that this development represents an important technological leap for Braskem, since the production of green linear polyethylene demands the use of a second monomer (molecules used as raw material to make the polymer) from a 100% renewable source. In other words, besides sugarcane ethylene, a technology already dominated by Braskem, the researchers needed to elaborate a new technological route that would allow them to obtain high-yield butene from a renewable raw material.

(Cf. news of 2007-12-07, 2007-11-02 and 2007-06-22.)

Source: Braskem, press release, 2008-03-28.

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