DSM Engineering Materials will replace "a significant portion" of fossil feedstocks used to make its high performance polymers with feedstock from recycled waste plastics and/or bio-based hydrocarbons.
DSM will make that move through a partnership between its parent firm — Royal DSM of Geleen, Netherlands — and renewable materials firm Neste of Helsinki, officials said in a recent news release.
Neste already makes renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, as well as renewable ingredients that can be used in high performance polymers. DSM's use of these ingredients will allow the firm and its customers to reduce the carbon footprint of their own products while supporting the chemical industry's transition to a circular economy, officials said.
DSM's specialty polymers are used in the automotive, electronics and packaging industries. The partnership with Neste aims to replace several thousand tons of fossil feedstock in the production of polymers with bio-based and waste plastic-based hydrocarbons.
Neste makes its bio-based hydrocarbons from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue oils and fats. For waste plastic-derived feedstock, Neste focuses on plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled and have previously been directed to incineration and landfilling.
Plastics made with Neste ingredients are drop-in replacements and are suitable for existing production infrastructures, officials said.
"We have a long history of delivering tangible proof points of our commitment to sustainability." DSM Engineering Materials President Shruti Singhal said in the release. "As a next step, we are going to even further reduce our footprint and will offer a full alternative range of our existing portfolio based on bio and/or recycled-based materials by 2030."
Mercedes Alonso, Neste renewable polymers executive vice president, added that Neste and DSM "are frontrunners in providing sustainable solutions to the market."
"Both companies have a similar sense of urgency towards creating a healthier future for our children," she said. "It's exciting to see how our 100 percent bio-based and waste plastic-based products enable DSM to produce its high performance polymers portfolio with a reduced environmental footprint."
DSM is a global supplier of specialty plastics and chemicals. The firm employs 23,000 worldwide and has annual sales of almost $11 billion.
Earlier this year, Neste struck a deal with Covestro AG to supply renewably sourced feedstocks for new grades of polycarbonate.