As the demand for sustainable materials continues to rise, even the major producers of conventional materials are starting to enter the arena. Yesterday, Ineos and UPM Biofuels announced that they had entered into a long-term agreement under which UPM will supply its UPM BioVerno, a renewable raw material for the production of bio-attributed polymers at INEOS Köln, Germany. The agreement fits with Ineos’ striving for a more circular approach to its olefins and polymer production processes.
The raw material for UPM BioVerno naphtha is crude tall oil, a renewable residue of wood pulp processing. The naphtha resulting from UPM Biofuels’ production is said to offer the same physical properties and quality as its fossil counterpart and is suitable for use on existing processing and recycling facilities.
As a by-product of the pulp processing industry, UPM biofuels bio-based cracker feedstock does not compete in any way with the production of food.
By partly replacing fossil-based raw materials with UPM BioVerno in its cracker, Ineos products will contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
The advantage of this mass-balance approach, says UPM Biofuels, is that it allows for a gradual transformation from fossil to bio-based feedstock.
Ineos will be using UPM’s bio-based cracker feedstock to make environmentally responsible drop-in products that retain the same high performance and quality standards as conventional materials.
These will be used in a wide range of products, from plastic food packaging to medical applications and pipes.
Applications also include Biovyntim, the world’s first commercially available bio-attributed PVC, produced by Inovyn, an Ineos business.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has certified each step in the process, starting from UPM Biofuels converting the wood-based residue (crude tall oil) into hydrocarbons, through to the final polymer.
“This partnership, in combination with RSB certification, gives customers the confidence that they are choosing a high quality, sustainable product,” said Rob Ingram, CEO Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe North.