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Neste and LyondellBasell announce commercial-scale production of bio-based plastic from renewable materials

Finland-headed Neste Oyj, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel from waste and residues, and US-headed LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies in the world, have jointly announced the first parallel production of bio-based polypropylene (PP) and bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) at a commercial scale. This collaboration marks the first time bio-based PP and bio-based LDPE was produced simultaneously at commercial scale.

Neste bio polymers and chemical recycling (photo courtesy Neste).

Neste bio polymers and chemical recycling (photo courtesy Neste).

According to a statement, the joint project used Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons derived from sustainable bio-based raw materials, such as waste and residue oils. The project successfully produced several thousand tonnes of bio-based plastics which are approved for the production of food packaging and being marketed under “Circulen” and “Circulen Plus”, the new family of LyondellBasell circular economy product brands.

LyondellBasell has an innovative spirit that spans decades, and, an achievement like this showcases concrete actions we are taking in support of a circular economy. Through the use of renewable resources, we are contributing to the fight against climate change and helping our customers achieve their environmental targets, said Richard Roudeix, LyondellBasell Senior Vice President of Olefins and Polyolefins for Europe, Asia, and International.

An industry first

This achievement is extraordinary in that it combined Neste’s unique renewable feedstock and LyondellBasell’s technical capabilities. LyondellBasell’s cracker flexibility allowed it to introduce a new renewable feedstock at its Wesseling, Germany site, which was converted directly into bio-based polyethylene and bio-based polypropylene.

An independent third party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed they contained over 30 percent renewable content.

LyondellBasell sold some of the renewable products produced in the trial to multiple customers, one of which is Cofresco, a company of the Melitta Group and with brands like “Toppits” and “Albal”, Europe’s leading supplier of branded products in the field of household film.

Cofresco plans to use the Circulen Plus bio-based polyethylene to create sustainable food packaging materials.

We are excited to enable the plastics industry to introduce more bio-based material into its offering. It is very satisfying to see Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons performing perfectly in commercial scale production of bio-based polymers, providing a drop-in replacement option to fossil materials. This pioneering collaboration with LyondellBasell marks a major milestone in the commercialization of Neste’s renewable polymers and chemicals business focusing on developing renewable and circular solutions for forward-looking sustainable brands said Neste’s President and CEO Peter Vanacker.

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