Technological watch

Lanxess presents sustainable high-performance plastic

In the easy-flowing compound BLUEBKV60H2.0EF, 92 percent of the raw materials are replaced by sustainable alternatives. Photo: LANXESSIn the manufacture of plastics, LANXESS is increasingly turning to “circular” and bio-based raw materials. The specialty chemicals company’s latest product is Durethan BLUEBKV60H2.0EF. Ninetytwo percent of the raw materials used in this easy-flowing compound have been replaced with sustainable alternatives – that’s more than in any other prime quality glass-fiber-reinforced plastic.

The new plastic grade is the first product from LANXESS in the new “Scopeblue” series. The brand label identifies products that either consist of at least 50 percent circular (recycled or biobased) raw materials, or whose carbon footprint is at least 50 percent lower than that of conventional products.

“A carbon-neutral future can become reality only if we start using more sustainable products,” says Frederique van Baarle, who heads the High-Performance Materials (HPM) division at LANXESS. “Our first product marketed under the Scopeblue brand represents a real solution for the circular economy. The compound is a certified premium material that’s based on sustainable raw materials.”

Mission to use 100% sustainable raw materialsOne of the raw materials used in the production of this polyamide-6-based high-performance plastic is cyclohexane from sustainable sources – meaning cyclohexane that is either bio-based, recycled bio-based or produced by means of chemical recycling. The material is also strengthened with 60% by weight of glass fibers comprising industrial glass waste instead of mineral raw materials. The alternative raw materials that LANXESS uses in the precursors for polyamide 6 are chemically identical to their equivalents of fossil origin (“drop-in solutions”), so Durethan BLUEBKV60H2.0EF exhibits the same characteristics as the virgin material and can be processed just as easily using exactly the same production tools and facilities with no conversion work needed.

Further sustainable compounds set to be launchedWith Durethan ECOBKV30H2.0, ECOBKV35H2.0 and ECOBKV60XF, LANXESS recently unveiled three polyamide 6 compounds containing 30%, 35% and 60% by weight respectively of recycled fiber made from glass waste as calculated using the ISCC Plus-certified mass balance method. In response to major customer demand, this product family has been extended over the past few months to include even more compounds based on polyamide 6 and 66. LANXESS is also using the recycled glass fibers for the mechanical reinforcement of its Pocan-brand polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) compounds. Early products include Pocan ECOB3235 and the flame-retardant ECOB4239, each of which contain 30% by weight of recycled glass fibers as calculated using the certified mass balance method.

The sustainable origin of the raw materials is certified to ISCC Plus (“International Sustainability and Carbon Certification”). This applies to not only the LANXESS production sites in Antwerp and Krefeld-Uerdingen but also all precursors originating exclusively from suppliers that are also ISCC Plus-certified.

Publication date: 28/10/2021

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Last update: 2020-07-14