Bioplastic, Company initiatives

Braskem launches green LDPE

Brazil-based chemical firm Braskem seems to be still optimistic about the demand for its sugar-based polyethylene plastics as the company announced its expansion with a 30,000 tons/year capacity producing a new line of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) resins.

The product will be made available in the market starting in January 2014.

Braskem has been producing sugarcane ethanol-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) since September 2010 at its 200,000 tonnes/year Green PE plant in Rio Grande do Sul near Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil.

The company noted 19 companies such as Danone, Embalixo, Faber Castell, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Natura, Tetra Pak, Tigre and Walmart have already adopted its Green PE material and incorporated them in around 23 brands.

Braskem recently announced that it will start marketing PE caps for carbonated beverages in the second half of this year, and that the PE caps can also be made from Green PE.

Braskem has previously been planning to expand its Green PE capacity with another 400,000 tonnes/year plant but there were reports that the project has been delayed given the influx of shale gas-based ethylene downstream capacity investments being planned in the US by several petrochemical companies.

Dow was also planning to invest in sa 350,000 tonnes/year sugarcane ethanol-based PE project in Santa Vitoria, Brazil, in joint venture with Mitsui and Company, but the project was reportedly delayed as well.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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