Capable of replacing petroleum derivatives, renewable raw materials represent a strategic challenge both for the environment and for Arkema’s development. Building on its expertise in castor oil chemistry, the Group develops biobased products and materials derived from plants for wide-ranging markets (footwear, spectacles, cell phones, automotive parts, etc.).
Biobased polymers and resins
For the last 60 years, Rilsan® polyamide 11 (or PA11) has represented a safe and effective alternative to petroleum derivatives for demanding markets. Processed from castor oil, this bioplastic is 100% of vegetable and renewable origin. For over ten years, Arkema has been expanding its range of so-called “long-chain” polyamides to meet market demand, and offers technical bioplastics, in particular:
- Rilsan® HT, a polyphthalamide (PPA) based polymer which combines flexibility with excellent performances at high temperature. This product has now been widely adopted by the automotive industry.
- Rilsan® Clear Rnew, a transparent, lightweight and easy-to-process polyamide, perfectly suited to sports spectacles in particular.
- Hiprolon®, a range of polyamides 10, processed from sebacic acid, a castor oil derivative. Hiprolon® is used to manufacture fuel lines as well as tubing for other technical fluids.
Pebax® Rnew polyether block amide is a thermoplastic elastomer partly plant-based, extremely tough and with enduring elasticity even at very low temperature. It is extensively used in the manufacture of ski boots and other sports shoes.
As specialty thermoplastics, Platamid® Rnew copolyamides are used to manufacture hotmelt adhesives for sizing textiles intended for clothing or for industrial applications.
Altuglas® Rnew transparent PMMA resins include biopolymers 100% produced from plant sugar. The fluidity of these technical alloys means they can be processed at low temperature and therefore benefit from a smaller carbon footprint. Applications of Altuglas® Rnew include electronics, consumer goods, optics and automotive.
Substances and additives
The Sarbio® range marketed by Sartomer, an Arkema subsidiary, offers a wide range of acrylate and methacrylate monomers and oligomers, comprising, depending on the grades, 10 to 80% of renewable raw materials. These bioproducts are used in the formulation of varnishes, inks and coatings as well as adhesives.
Used for the manufacture of warm bitumen mix, Cecabase RT® surfactant additives are synthesised from at least 50% vegetable oil. They help reduce dust emissions, lower the temperature at which the asphalt is laid, and so cut down energy consumption by up to 30% during road construction work.
Products from the Oleris® range are 100% of plant origin (castor oil). They have a very high purity (95 to 99%), contain no MGOs, are biodegradable, and comply with regulations. Finally, they are used for the synthesis of fragrances, aromas and cosmetics, as well as industrial lubricants and plasticisers.