Austrian polyolefin manufacturer Borealis AG has entered into a strategic cooperation with renewable fuels specialist Neste for the production of bio-based polypropylene in Kallo and Beringen, Belgium.
Under the agreement, announced on the first day of K 2019, Borealis will use Neste's 100 percent renewable propane as feedstock to produce polymers at its Belgian facilities by the end of the year.
Using its proprietary Nexbtl technology, Neste uses almost any bio-based oil or fat as raw material, including lower-quality waste and residue oils, to produce various high-quality renewable feedstock materials.
As part of the partnership, Borealis will use Neste's renewable propane, produced in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to create an entire portfolio of applications based on renewable PP.
The move marks the first time that Borealis is using bio-based feedstock to partially replace fossil feedstock in commercial production of PP.
The project, Borealis said, will be the first time ever that renewable propane dehydrogenation is carried out at an industrial scale, but it did not give further details on the production volume.
According to Borealis, the product will offer the same properties as conventional PP, and it is fully recyclable.
The company's unique propane dehydrogenation and PP plant setup in Kallo will enable the company to start offering bio-based propylene and consequently bio-based PP in which bio-based content can be physically verified and measured.
The process will be certified by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, which will cover a full value chain scope to ensure that the feedstock used is certified renewable, sustainably produced and traceable to point of origin.
"Using renewable feedstocks produced primarily from waste and residue streams is a major contribution to reducing our reliance on fossil fuel-based feedstocks," explained Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis executive vice president of polyolefins, innovation and technology, and circular economy solutions, at a K news conference.
"Through cooperation with Neste, we can offer our customers and partners a new portfolio of renewable PP solutions, helping them to make their offering more climate-friendly," she added.
The partnership is part of Borealis' EverMinds initiative, which aims to promote the circularity of plastics.
"Borealis will not only help protect the environment, but also build a business fit for the future," Foufopoulos said.