LANXESS is strengthening its commitment to produce premium synthetic rubbers from bio-based raw materials. The German specialty chemicals company aims to commercially produce ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) from bio-based ethylene by the end of the year. It will be the first form of bio-based EPDM rubber in the world. EPDM is conventionally produced using the petroleum-based raw materials ethylene and propylene. Alternatively, LANXESS plans to use ethylene derived purely from the renewable resource sugar cane. This bio-based form of ethylene is produced by dehydrating ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane. The company Braskem S.A. will supply the bio-based ethylene via pipeline to LANXESS’ existing EPDM plant in Triunfo, Brazil.
“LANXESS’ ongoing search for alternatives to fossil fuels underlines its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions through sustainable production,” said Guenther Weymans, head of LANXESS’ Technical Rubber Products business unit. “We are very excited that our Brazilian plant will be the pioneer for bio-based EPDM.” “LANXESS will contribute to broaden our portfolio of renewable chemicals’ clients. This agreement will bring the benefits of green ethylene to other important applications and markets. LANXESS has extensive automotive experience and an excellent reputation in this market, which makes it an ideal partner,” said Marcelo Nunes, Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Director.
Triunfo currently produces 40,000 metric tons per year of regular EPDM rubber and it is expected that the first batches of the product Keltan Eco will amount to several hundred metric tons. The company’s other EPDM production sites are based in Geleen, The Netherlands, Marl, Germany, and Orange, Texas, U.S. All EPDM grades will be sold in the future under the brand name Keltan.
EPDM is used above all in the automotive industry but also in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries. Its properties include very low density, good resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering as well as good electrical insulation properties. LANXESS will be showcasing Keltan Eco at its Rubber Day Germany, being held in Dusseldorf today, for the first time.