Houston — Polymer producer Kraton Corp. is expanding domestically and internationally, and it has made several personnel changes recently.
The company has added to its manufacturing in Berre, France, to produce as much as 100 percent certified renewable styrenic block copolymers (SBC).
The effort is part of the CirKular+ ReNew Series via mass balance approach, which Kraton said can reduce cradle-to-gate carbon footprint by as much as 85 percent, including biogenic carbon, compared with fossil-based products manufactured at the Berre facility.
The products will be qualified under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Plus, a voluntary sustainability certification for plastics and chemicals, biofuels, food and feed markets outside the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Mass balance tracks how much recycled or bio-based raw material is contained in a value chain. Kraton notes in a news release that "all relevant life cycle stages of the end product must be considered to identify the overall life cycle impact along the value chain."
Houston-based Kraton launched the CirKular+ product line in 2020. In 2022, the company successfully produced CirKular+ ReNew Series SBCs at the Berre plant using certified renewable butadiene to enable up to 70 percent ISCC Plus certified content.
That undertaking precedes an upcoming expansion of Kraton's styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) block copolymers capacity at its Belpre, Ohio, facility. The previously announced Belpre project will begin next year, and in 2025, the company expects to boost capacity by 24 kilotons. It did not say how much it will invest in the project or how much capacity it has there now, but it called the expansion significant.
The company also said it is looking for additional opportunities to increase its SBS capacity in North America.
SBS is used largely in footwear and to modify bitumen/asphalt. It also is used in pressure-sensitive and construction adhesives, and hot-melt spray diaper adhesives.
In personnel news, Kraton named Marcello Boldrini CEO. He had served as co-CEO of the corporation and CEO of the pine chemicals segment for more than a year. Kraton announced the appointment July 3.
Also in July, Kraton appointed Torsten Schmidt president of the polymers segment and Minco van Breevoort president of the pine chemicals segment. Schmidt had been commercial vice president for pine chemicals, and van Breevoort was vice president of the pine chemicals procurement and supply chain.
Schmidt has been with Kraton for a decade and previously held high-level positions with Hoechst AG, Hoechst Celanese, KoSa and Invista.
Breevoort joined Kraton in 2011 as finance director. Before that time, he had worked for Shell and Unilever.