Materials maker Cepsa Quimica SA has begun production of a sustainable grade of phenol, a feedstock used to make engineering resins.
Madrid-based CQ is marketing the new phenol under the NextPhenol brand name. The material can be used to make nylon, polycarbonate, methyl methacrylate and coatings. The firm also recently launched NextLAB, a sustainable linear alkylbenzene, which can be used in cleaning products.
CQ is a leading global supplier of phenol and LAB.
In a news release, CQ officials said that the new line is part of the firm's ambitions to make its own business activities fossil-free in the long term and also helps CQ customers to make their products and production processes more sustainable.
"To achieve this, we not only look at our own production processes, energy consumption and the supply chain, but also at the origin of the raw materials, replacing traditional fossil sources for renewable feedstocks and wastes," Jose Maria Cuadro, head of feedstocks and ESG, said in the release.
The new range of products contains at least 68 percent sustainable or alternative carbon sources. "The only difference is that we no longer get them from fossil sources, but from waste and biomass," Cuadro said.
He added that product specifications, performance and applications of the new products are basically the same. "We do have to adapt our production processes, because renewable and recycled raw materials need additional treatment," Cuadro said.
From a production point of view, he added, customers won't notice any difference between the traditional and new products.
"The biggest benefit is that the customer will be able to increase the sustainability of their products and production processes because of our sustainable raw materials, thus reducing their ecological footprint," Cuadro said. "Buyers and consumers are increasingly demanding this."
The new NextLAB and NextPhenol product lines are currently being produced at CQ plants in the Spanish provinces of Cádiz and Huelva as well as Shanghai. These plants have been certified according to the ISCC Plus standard, which focuses on the sustainability and traceability of recycled materials, waste products and biomass for the production of recyclable plastics and chemical raw materials, officials said.
CQ employs more than 1,000 and has plants in seven countries. The firm's other chemical products include plastic feedstock cumene.