In the Netherlands, LyondellBasell and Neste (Espoo, FInland; www.neste.com) jointly announced the production of bio-based polypropylene and polyethylene at a commercial scale. This is said to be the first time bio-based polypropylene and bio-based low-density polyethylene were produced simultaneously at commercial scale.
The joint project used Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable bio-based raw materials, such as waste and residue oils. The project successfully produced several thousand tonnes of bio-based plastics which are approved for the production of food packaging and being marketed under Circulen and Circulen Plus, the new family of LyondellBasell circular economy product brands.
This achievement combined Neste’s unique renewable feedstock and LyondellBasell’s technical capabilities. LyondellBasell’s cracker flexibility allowed it to introduce a new renewable feedstock at its Wesseling, Germany site, which was converted directly into bio-based polyethylene and bio-based polypropylene. An independent third party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed they contained over 30% renewable content.
LyondellBasell sold some of the renewable products produced in the trial to multiple customers, one of which is Cofresco, a company of the Melitta Group, Europe’s leading supplier of branded products in the field of household film. Cofresco plans to use the Circulen Plus bio-based polyethylene to create sustainable food packaging materials.