Renewable raw materials represent a strategic opportunity 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, eyewear, cell phones, automotive parts, etc.).
Biobased polymers and resins
Rilsan® PA 11
Rilsan® polyamide 11 (or PA11) is widely respected as a high performance resin for demanding applications. Processed from castor oil, this polymer is 100% biobased.
Castor oil: for sustainable and responsible production
Arkema is a founding member of the Pragati initiative for sustainable and responsible castor oil production in India.
Along with its three partners (BASF, Jayant Agro-Organics, and Solidaridad), the Pragati initiative has concentrated on intensive training of local castor farmers in India, where more than 70% of the world supply originates.
Four primary goals of the initiative are followed:
- To enhance farm productivity by adopting a sustainable package of agricultural practices.
- To train farmers to build capacity, improve yields and reduce environmental impact, helping them to cultivate castor beans ecologically.
- To provide educational materials to improve their skills and knowledge.
- To improve the farmers’ and farm workers’ income and to ensure better health and living conditions.
More than 1,000 castor farmershave been certified so far, proving their tremendous achievements in improving the sustainability of their farming practices. Another 2,000 farmers are expected to receive certification in early 2019.
Key outcomes of the project to date
- A yield improvement of 55% vs the 2016 baseline
- Safety kits and waste storage drums distributed to all 2,700 participating farmers
- More than 1,000 hours of classroom training
- Completion of soil and water tests across 41 villages
- Health camps set up in 26 villages
- Five demo plots created for better agricultural practices field demonstration
- More than 2,000 hectares of castor farming are now in accordance with the project framework
Pebax® Rnew polyether block amide is a thermoplastic elastomer that is partly plant-based, extremely tough and demonstrates enduring elasticity even at very low temperatures. It is extensively used in the manufacturing of ski boots and sports shoes (both cleated and non-cleated).
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, comprised of 10 to 80% renewable raw materials, depending on th grade. 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 synthesized from at least 50% vegetable oil. They help reduce dust emissions and lower the temperature at which the asphalt is laid, thereby reducing energy consumption by up to 30% during road construction work.
Products from the Oleris® range are 100% plant-based (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 plasticizers.