APLA '10: US Dow studies new potential feedstocks - execs

08 November 2010 21:01  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--The appearance of several new feedstocks and chemicals has prompted Dow Chemical to review which ones have the best chances in the market, company executives said on Monday.

Recently, companies are producing chemicals from different feedstocks, such as renewable succinic acid and ethanol.

Braskem, for example, has started selling polyethylene (PE) produced from ethanol.

Dow is developing its own ethanol-to-PE project in Brazil.

"There is almost no chemical we won't look at," said John Richard Biggs, Dow's research and development director for hydrocarbons and energy in Latin America.

To sort out the chemicals with the most promise, Dow has a team in place that examines the various raw-material streams, said Theresa Kotanchek, global director of sustainable technologies and innovative sourcing for Dow.

However, the chemical needs to be both technically and economically viable and at the right proportions, Biggs said. "Every country, culture and society will have its solution. It's not straightforward. It has to work economics-wise."

Ethanol, for example, will not be the best feedstock for every country, he said.

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By: Al Greenwood
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