SK CHEMICALS
Production start for starch-based polyols / Focus on bio-precursors, polymers
Start of commercial production of the corn-based polyol, Ecotrion, in South Korea (Photo: SK Chemicals)
South Korean SK Chemicals (SKC, Seoul; www.skc.co.kr) has produced the first commercial quantities of bio-based polyol polyoxytrimethylene ether glycol (PO3G) at its main facility in Ulsan after building a corresponding plant over the past 18 months. The true capacity of the plant was not revealed, with SK saying only that it was “several thousand tonnes annually”. Available output is suspected to be at least 10,000 t/y.

According to the company, its Ecotrion brand polyurethane intermediate, which is made entirely from corn starch, is intended for PU soft foams in shoe soles, artificial leather clothing, and furniture upholstery. Among other things, artificial leather for car seats has already been developed and tested, in cooperation with Hyundai Motor and Kia.

Compared to conventional polyol production, SK expects greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 40%. The supplier noted that the material has received environmental certificates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Belgian certifier Vinçotte.

SK’s exodus from a 50/50 joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo, Japan; www.mitsuichem.com) could also be related to the company’s dynamic development and the production of biobased plastics, which it describes as a key growth driver for the future. The firms dissolved their PU firm Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes last year (see Plasteurope.com of 13.10.2021).
07.06.2022 Plasteurope.com [250404-0]
Published on 07.06.2022
SK Chemicals: Erzeugung vollständig stärkebasierter Polyole beginntGerman version of this article...

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