Polyethylene goes green

Braskem is to produce what it claims is the world’s first internationally-certified polyethylene made from sugarcane ethanol.


Brazil-based Braskem is to produce what it claims is the world’s first internationally-certified polyethylene made from sugarcane ethanol.


The certification was conducted by a leading international laboratory, Beta Analytic, which certified that the product contained 100% renewable raw materials.


The green polymer developed by Braskem – a high-density polyethylene, one of the resins most widely used in flexible packaging – is the result of a research and development project that has already received around $5m in investment.


Part of the money was spent building 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 Centre.


The company expects that green polyethylene production on an industrial scale will start in late 2009 and annual production capacity could be as high as 200,000 tonnes.


The location and of the production facility is to be decided within the next few months.