Friedrichshafen, Germany — Chemical producer Lanxess has formed a partnership with energy company BP plc to use sustainably produced cyclohexane in Lanxess' plastics production.
BP will supply the cyclohexane to the Lanxess' production site in Antwerp, Belgium, starting in the fourth quarter of 2021, a news release said.
Lanxess uses cyclohexane in the production of nylon 6, which is used primarily in the automotive, electrical and consumer goods industries.
One of the biggest challenges the company has in creating sustainable products is availability of recycling processes and sourcing enough material, Lukas Schröer, global marketing manager of engineering plastics at Lanxess' High Performance Materials business unit, said at a news conference at Fakuma 2021 in Friedrichshafen.
BP won't be the only supplier of cyclohexane, but all of Lanxess' supply will be certified according to the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, Schröer said.
The energy company uses bio-based and biocircular feedstocks, like rapeseed oil or biomass to produce the cyclohexane, the release said.
The quality of materials is important, Schröer said.
"Just having sustainable materials in the portfolio doesn't mean the customer or market ... is able to adopt the solution in their production," he said.
"We try to scout for new technology" to close recycling loops, "trying to identify and qualify as many material streams as possible," he said. "We're very confident we can supply big projects in the market that are, at the moment, supplied with our standard materials."
"With this partnership, both companies, which already have a long-standing business relationship, want to significantly advance the production of sustainable plastics," the release said.
"To meet the global challenges of climate change, creative approaches to solutions and collaboration are needed in service of our customers," Wolfgang Stückle, vice president of midstream refining and specialties solutions in Europe and Africa of BP, said in the release. "We are pleased to accompany Lanxess as a strong partner with a broad portfolio of raw materials from renewable sources."
"High-performance plastics are the solution for many sustainable products — for example, in various e-mobility applications," said Marcel Beermann, head of global procurement and logistics at Lanxess. "It is now important to also make the production of this valuable material sustainable. In this context, the use of bio-based raw materials, along with modern recycling processes, is a key lever."