Finnish oil refining company Neste and LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, recently announced an industry first in the production bio-based plastics approved for food packaging. Their joint trial project succeeded in the first parallel production of bio-based polypropylene and bio-based low-density polyethylene on a commercial scale using renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable bio-based raw materials, such as waste and residue oils.
According to LyondellBasell, it has sold some of the renewable products from the trial to multiple customers. An independent party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed that they contained over 30% renewable content.
Neste is the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel from waste and residues.
“We are excited to enable the plastics industry to introduce more bio-based material into its offering. It is very satisfying to see Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons performing perfectly in a commercial scale production of bio-based polymers, providing a drop-in replacement option to fossil materials,” says Peter Vanacker, Neste’s President and CEO, in a statement.
“This pioneering collaboration with LyondellBasell marks a major milestone in the commercialization of Neste’s renewable polymers and chemicals business focusing on developing renewable and circular solutions for forward-looking sustainable brands.”
Finnish chemical industry group Kemira is participating in the development of 100% bio-based chemicals for paper and cardboard production as part of a multinational project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. According to Kemira, the project also aims to develop new means to improve production efficiency at pulp mills through a higher utilization of wood biomass.
During the four-year project, Kemira and the other project members will conduct demonstration-scale trial runs at a dissolving pulp mill, with the aim of developing fully bio-based polymeric chemistries for paper and cardboard production to complement and even replace polymers that are derived from petroleum.
“Finland is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of new bio-based products. The international projects involving Neste and Kemira demonstrate how partnering with Finnish companies can accelerate the development of industry-changing bio-based products and materials that advance the circular economy,” says Jari Tielinen, Head of Bio & Circular, Invest in Finland.
Health & Wellbeing, Invest in Finland