15 April 2021

Trinseo and BASF jointly announce Business Collaboration on Circular Feedstock

Partnership based on shared values supporting circularity with styrenic plastics

  • Biomass-balanced feedstock: Distinct greenhouse gas reduction with product properties unchanged
  • Chemically recycled feedstock: Plastic waste redirected into production cycles

Trinseo (NYSE: TSE) and BASF announce today the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene based on circular feedstock.  The enhanced collaboration between Trinseo and BASF aims to increase efforts by both companies in the development and management of styrene featuring an improved environmental profile.

Trinseo has recently been procuring first supplies of the synthetical chemical styrene based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tires manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances and the first few customers have already processed the material.

“By creating synergy across the value chain, the Trinseo-BASF collaboration is an important move towards helping our customers reach their sustainability goals as well as the development of a truly circular economy,” said Nicolas Joly, Vice President, Plastics & Feedstocks of Trinseo. “The initiative is also in line with Trinseo’s 2030 Sustainability Goals announced earlier this year.”

“CO2 emission reduction and a circular economy are BASF’s paramount targets. Using circular feedstocks instead of virgin fossil resources contributes directly or indirectly to an improved CO2 footprint of subsequent products,” says Klaus Ries, Vice President for BASF’s Styrenics Business Europe. “While our customer Trinseo procures biomass balanced (BMB) styrene for their downstream business already, styrene Ccycled™ will be available in the near future”.

Two types of mass balanced styrene

There are two types of styrene BASF can produce with a mass balance approach – renewable feedstock based-styrene and styrene based on chemically recycled feedstock. Mass balance is a chain of custody model designed to keep track of the total amount of input (e. g. circular feedstock) throughout the production cycle and ensure an appropriate allocation to the finished goods. Both of these alternative feedstocks replace a certain amount of virgin fossil resources at the beginning of the value chain – leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions.

To produce BMB styrene, BASF replaces fossil resources like naphtha or natural gas by renewable feedstocks derived from organic waste or vegetable oils.  When manufacturing Ccycled™ products, BASF uses pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically, e.g., mixed household waste or end-of-life tires, as a feedstock, thus contributing to plastics circularity.

With this approach Trinseo and BASF can offer products with a better environmental profile and the same properties as those manufactured from fossil feedstock.  The allocation process via the mass balance approach as well as the products are certified by an independent auditor.  Read more about BASF’s ChemCycling™ project here.

About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.

About Trinseo

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE) is a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber with a focus on delivering innovative, sustainable, and value-creating products that are intrinsic to our daily lives. Trinseo is dedicated to making a positive impact on society by partnering with like-minded stakeholders, and supporting the sustainability goals of our customers in a wide range of end-markets including automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, packaging, footwear, carpet, paper and board, building and construction, and tires. Trinseo had approximately $3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees. For more information, please visit: www.trinseo.com.

Source: BASF and Trinseo, joint press release, 2021-03-29.

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