In Germany, UPM Biochemicals, a subsidiary of Finland-headed forest industry major UPM, and HAERTOL Chemie GmbH have announced a development partnership that will "accelerate the introduction of renewable, sustainable forest-sourced materials into the automotive market and reduce fossil resource consumption."
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Both headquartered in Germany, UPM Biochemicals and HAERTOL have agreed to form a strategic partnership to produce a new range of carbon-neutral engine and battery coolants that will help automotive manufacturers reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint.
UPM is investing EUR 750 million to build the world’s first industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany, to convert sustainably sourced, certified woody biomass into next-generation biochemicals that will enable the vital shift away from fossil-based to renewable materials across a wide range of industries, including the automotive sectors.
The biorefinery aims to produce 220 000 tonnes annually in total, with start-up targeted to take place by the end of 2023.
UPM’s renewable bio mono-ethylene glycol (Bio-MEG), “UPM BioPura”, is produced from sustainably sourced, certified hardwood obtained from forests in the regions around Leuna in Germany.
The biomass does not compete with food resources and is carbon negative, therefore enabling the first ever CO2-neutral coolant to be produced.
UPM is actively working on optimizing processes and material streams to further reduce emissions and enable carbon neutrality or even negativity of the other products produced in the Leuna biorefinery.
HAERTOL, a leading engine, and battery coolant manufacturer in Europe will be one of the first customers to integrate renewable materials into their products.
UPM’s BioPura will enable HAERTOL to offer their customers, leading global automotive brands, a viable option to redefine their net zero targets and significantly reduce their scope three emissions by switching effortlessly from fossil-based to a renewable, drop-in ingredient – allowing them to create a carbon neutral coolant.
Our customers are focused on reducing their carbon footprint. By partnering with UPM, HAERTOL will be able to help them go further, faster. MEG is the main ingredient in every coolant (92-95 percent). Replacing fossil-based coolants with a new product based on renewable source materials but with the exact same functionality is a completely sustainable transformation. This is especially exciting for electric vehicle manufacturers as an EV can require at least two times more coolant for the temperature management of the battery than vehicles with combustion engines, meaning the life cycle assessment of EVs is further improved, explained explained Dr Marco Bergemann, Managing Director and Owner of HAERTOL Chemie.
The UPM biorefinery in Leuna is strategically positioned to shorten supply chains to European manufacturers. HAERTOL’s production facility in Magdeburg is only approximately 120 km away.
HAERTOL is a true innovator, and we are delighted to support their drive to reduce the carbon footprint of the automotive industry. Sourcing from sustainably managed forests such as those in Saxony-Anhalt achieves twin objectives: we switch to renewables, keeping fossils in the ground, and by supporting sustainable forest management and reforestation efforts, we help increase their potential to act as carbon sinks, said Dr Michael Duetsch, VP Biochemicals at UPM.
UPM Biochemicals is actively engaging with industry partners such as HAERTOL to develop new, sustainable applications and products based on the biochemicals to be produced in Leuna.
We believe that transforming the chemical value chain to become more sustainable can only be achieved to open collaboration and active partnerships ended Dr Michael Duetsch.