OMV and Synthos Partner on Sustainable Butadiene for Synthetic Rubber

12.12.2023 - Austrian energy group OMV and synthetic rubber producer Synthos have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which the two companies will cooperate on sustainability. The focus is on the supply of sustainable raw materials that can be used for the production of high-performance tires.

OMV and Synthos said that they commit to a long-term cooperation on sustainable butadiene until 2030, initially using palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) and used cooking oil as raw materials. Sustainable butadiene will be produced in the steam cracker at OMV’s German refinery in Burghausen. A first batch of sustainable butadiene was delivered to Synthos in 2023.

The MoU also facilitates future cooperation on circular raw material butadiene, which is based on pyrolysis oil from end-of-life tires through a chemical degradation process that occurs at very high temperatures.

Daniela Vlad, executive vice president Chemicals and Materials at OMV, commented: “Our tie-up with Synthos clearly shows that OMV is re-inventing essentials for sustainable living. To achieve this, we have a strategic goal to become a leading European producer of sustainable feedstocks for chemicals production at our integrated refineries in Schwechat, Austria, and Burghausen. At these sites, the production of sustainable chemical feedstocks will increase to approximately 300,000 tonnes by 2030.”

Synthos will use the butadiene to produce solution styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR), which is used in high performance tire tread compounds for low rolling resistance, which means reducing the energy loss of a tire rolling on the road. This in turn increases the vehicle’s energy efficiency and reduces environmental impact.

All Synthos production facilities, including its synthetic rubber plants in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany, received full ISCC PLUS certification in 2022.

Zbigniew Warmuz, CEO of Synthos, said: “In December 2021, we adopted our sustainable development strategy, in which we commit to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions per gigajoule (GJ) by 28% by 2030, reach zero carbon emissions by 2050 and produce 100% sustainable products by 2030. The cooperation with OMV is proof of our commitment to sustainability, which we can only achieve together with other leading companies in the value chain. Together, we can support our customers, the world's leading tire manufacturers, to achieve their sustainability goals in terms of net zero emissions and high-performance tires with a lower carbon footprint.”