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Products made from renewable raw materials

The challenge for plant chemistry developed by the Arkema group is to respond to the shrinking supply of fossils resources and to environmental concerns by using alternative raw materials.

The foreseeable depletion of fossil resources as well as environmental imperatives is pushing the chemical industry to turn to raw materials of plant origin to produce bioplastics.

The advantage of this approach is that plants are renewable. In addition, to be able to grow, plants capture the CO2 present in the air, thereby helping to reduce the greenhouse effect.

 

A number of manufactured products are already made from these polymers of plant origin: shoes, eye glasses, mobile telephones, automobile parts, packaging, etc.

Arkema is fully engaged in the bio-based chemical processes

With our bio-based factories we have been operating for years, we have the proof that it is possible to manufacture technical and high performance biosourced products that are competitive and fulfill genuine demand from the market.
Jean-Luc Dubois, Scientist Director

Arkema speeds up its development in green chemistry

In 2012, Arkema bolstered its position in polyamides by the acquisition of two Chinese companies : Casda, the world leader in sebacic acid derived from castor oil, and Hipro Polymers, which produces polyamides 10 (Hiprolon® range) from sebacic acid. Arkema also purchased in 2013 a stake in Ihsedu Agrochem, a subsidiary of Jayant Agro in India, supplier of castor oil. With its unique integration, Arkema has now an unsurpassed offering in bio-sourced polyamides.

Supplier of castor oil, Arkema has an unsurpassed offering in bio-sourced polyamides.

Developing new avenues

Arkema R&D is exploring various opportunities in order to increase the use of renewable raw materials.

R&D is exploring other opportunities based on other plant species with the aim of increasing the use of renewable raw materials.

 

Glycerol, a polyol coming from the manufacture of biofuels, and made from plants such as rapeseed, sunflowers and soybeans could replace propylene in some specific cases. The latter is used in the manufacture of acrolein and acrylic acid, two products which have a host of applications, ranging from pharmaceutical products to animal feed and the paper industry.

Another example: additives for paving grade bitumens Cecabase® RT, developed by CECA, a subsidiary of the Arkema group. These additives contain surfactants (50% are made from raw materials of renewable origin) and have the following characteristics:

  • reduction of approximately 50°C in the  application temperature of bitumen,
  • 20 to 50% decrease in energy consumption compared to the standard process,
  • 90% reduction in dust and gas generated during the production of the bitumen mix, and then improvement of the working conditions of the field personnel.