Neste and LyondellBasell Produce Bio-based Polymers
Neste and LyondellBasell have achieved what they say is the first commercial-scale parallel production of bio-based PP and bio-based LDPE. The joint project leveraged Neste’s broad renewable feedstock base – in particular waste and residue oil – and LyondellBasell’s process knowhow.
LyondellBasell said the cracker flexibility at its site in Wesseling, Germany, enabled it to introduce a new renewable feedstock that could be converted directly into the two bio-based polyolefins.
Using carbon tracers, an independent company later confirmed the polymers had more than 30% renewable content. Trial runs produced several thousand tonnes of material, which were approved for food packaging applications, the partners said.
LyondellBasell is now producing the polymers under the names Circulen and Circulen Plus2, its new circular economy brands. Household films supplier Cofresco, part of German’s Melitta group, plans to use the PE film to create a sustainable food packaging line.
In the past several years, Neste has formed partnerships with companies in various fields to help find outlets for its renewables residue. In late 2018, the Finnish group signed an agreement with Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant to use its renewable hydrocarbons. Previously, Neste launched a project with Swedish home furnishings retailer Ikea to promote the use of renewable solutions in plastic home furnishings and accessories.