Braskem, the leading company in the thermoplastic resins segment in Latin America and Brazil's second largest industrial company owned by the private sector, has announced production of the first internationally certified polyethylene made from sugarcane ethanol. This PE has been produced using competitive technologies developed at the company's Technology and Innovation Center. The certification was conducted by a leading international laboratory, Beta Analytic, which certified that the product contained 100% renewable raw materials. The project is now in technical and economic specification process and the startup of green polyethylene production on an industrial scale is expected in late 2009. The new unit will have modern technology and competitive scale, and could reach annual production capacity of up to 200,000 tons. The location and industrial design of the unit will be determined within the next few months.
The green HDPE developed by Braskem is the result of a research and development project that has already received some US$5 million in investment. Part of this amount was allocated to implementing a pilot unit for the production of ethane, which is the basis for the production of polyethylene, from renewable feedstock at the Braskem Technology and Innovation Center, which is already producing sufficient quantities for commercial development of the product. The project's target customer will soon receive the green polyethylene and have the opportunity to confirm the performance of the product, which can meet all of the quality standards required to be competitive in the international market.