Materials firm Braskem has completed a $10 million expansion of its Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh.
Company officials said in a Nov. 16 news release that the expansion adds eight new research and development labs with state-of-the-art equipment for developing new proprietary technologies to support innovations in catalysis, recycling and 3D printing.
They added that the new labs support Braskem's broader sustainability-based innovation objectives and its carbon neutral circular economy goals. The expansion is focused on catalysis and petrochemical process technologies and expanding 3D printing research. It also contains advanced polymer characterization labs, which do work with chromatography, polymer cracking and microscopy analyses.
Srivatsan Iyer, Braskem vice president of strategy, planning and innovation & technology, said the expansion "is designed to house the latest, cutting-edge equipment for research, which will allow Braskem to explore new avenues for growth."
He added that Braskem's efforts to safely complete the project amid a worldwide pandemic "really speaks to the commitment of Braskem towards technology development, and the confidence we have in the future."
The center employs 86 and is one of four global technology centers operated by Braskem. The other three are in São Paul and Trinufo, Brazil; and Wesseling, Germany.
Braskem, based in São Paulo, with North American headquarters in Philadelphia, employs 8,000 worldwide and posted sales of $13.2 billion in 2019. The firm ranks as North America's largest polypropylene maker and is a major producer of a range of other plastics, bioplastics and specialty chemicals.