Polyolefins from bio-naphtha / Commercial-scale pilot plant to start-up in autumn
Continuing the partnership established in 2016, Finnish oil producer Neste (Porvoo; www.neste.com) and the holding of Swedish-born retailer Ikea (Leiden / The Netherlands; www.ikea.com) have announced plans for commercial-scale pilot production of bio-based polypropylene – see Plasteurope.com of 19.09.2016. The partners said the facility, which is an existing plant belonging to an unnamed partner, will be the first large-scale production of renewable PP globally, and be able to produce renewable PE. Both polymers would have a renewable content of about 20%. Initially, Ikea plans to use the new plastic in a few products in its current range, such as storage boxes. By 2030, the retailer wants all plastic products sold in its stores to be made of recycled or renewable materials.

The PP test plant is due to start up this autumn, and will use bio-naphtha, a byproduct generated in the production of renewable diesel from agricultural waste and used cooking oil at Neste’s refinery at Rotterdam / The Netherlands – see Plasteurope.com of 26.03.2018. Being able to produce the polymer from a fossil-free material at more than bench scale represents a “significant step towards a fossil-free future,” said Erik Ljunblad, category manager Plastic Products at Ikea. For Neste, Tuomas Hyyryläinen, senior VP in the Emerging Businesses unit, said it “marks a significant milestone” in the Finnish company’s strategy. Ikea, he said, will be the first to benefit from Neste’s new capability to supply companies and brand owners with sustainable bio-based raw materials.

In processing bio-naphtha to make C2 and C3 – which could have a renewable content of as much as 50% – Neste is conducting trials with an as yet unidentified cracker operator and polyolefins producer. Potentially, the cracker could use bio-naphtha, although the renewable feedstock is more than twice as expensive as its petrochemical equivalent. The company spokesman told Plasteurope.com that the entire cracker will not have to be retooled to accommodate the renewable material, although this could be done in the medium term.

According to Neste, the PP and PE grades produced in the pilot facility can be processed with the same machinery converters use to manufacture conventional plastics.
10.07.2018 Plasteurope.com 1009 [240099-0]
Published on 10.07.2018
Neste/Ikea: Bald Bio-Naphtha für PolyolefineGerman version of this article...

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