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Brazilian company announces 100% ethanol-based polyethylene

Braskem, a Brazilian chemical company, says that it has produced the first 100 per cent ethanol-based polyethylene ...


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June 21, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

Braskem, a Brazilian chemical company, says that it has produced the first 100 per cent ethanol-based polyethylene in the world using ethanol from sugar cane.

Beta Analytic, a major laboratory, has confirmed that the product contains 100 per cent renewable raw material. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is the product of a US$5 million research and development project, which called for the production ethylene at the Braskem Technology and Innovation Center.

According to Braskem, the unit is now producing enough quantities for the commercial development of the product.

“Braskem’s leadership in the green polyethylene project confirms our commitment to innovation and sustainable development and points to the extremely positive prospects for the development of plastic products made from renewable raw materials,” said Braskem CEO Jose Carlos Grubisich. “This is an area in which Brazil has competitive natural advantages.”

Start-up commercial production is foreseen for the tail end of 2009, with an expected annual productive capacity of up to 200,000 tons.

Braskem is the largest petrochemical company in South America, and the second largest privately-held Brazilian industrial company.