Sugarcane Based Polyolefins used by P&G, Coca Cola, J&J
Rodrigo Belloli, Marketing and Market Intelligence, Renewable Chemicals, Braskem S.A.(Brazil) said Brazil has the same land area as the USA but much more arable land (400million Hectares cf 270 million Ha in the USA). 80% of its electricity generation is renewable (76% hydroelectric) and 46% of its total energy requirement comes from renewables compared with an average of 13% for developed countries.
Braskem is the world’s leading supplier of biopolymers with 200,000 tonnes of bio-PE now on stream. This arises from 65,000 hectares of sugar cane production via the production of 460 million litres of ethanol. (2400 litres of ethanol can be converted into a tonne of ethylene and hence a tonne of PE.) Using the sugar cane route, 9.3 tonnes of ethanol can be made from an input of a tonne of fossil fuel compared with the US corn based process which only makes 1.4 tonnes ethanol per tonne fossil fuel. Braskem’s Green PE has a cradle to polymer-factory gate carbon footprint of -2.5 tonnes compared with +2.1 tonnes for petrochemical PE. Green PP will be -2.3 c.f. +2.0 for petro-PP and this project is now at the engineering stage, completion expected at end-2013.
Numerous examples of uses for Green PE included Coca Cola’s juice bottles, Danone yogurt pots, P&G’s Pantene bottles, Yuhan Kimberly “Huggies” diapers and J&J’s Sundown bottles.
(from a paper given at the Biopolymer World Conference, Venice, April 2012)