Biomass feedstock important in bioplastics future – Nexant

29 March 2012 04:24  [Source: ICIS news]

ARLINGTON (ICIS)--Bioplastic makers have to use biomass feedstock in order to compete against shale gas-based ethylene-derived plastics in the future, a US consultant said late on Wednesday.

Sugar-based polyethylene (PE) plastic production in Brazil, which is vertically integrated in ethanol production, is already competitive against current naphtha-based ethylene, according to William Title, principal and director of strategy at US consulting firm Nexant.

Tittle was speaking at the BIOPLASTEK forum held at Arlington in Virginia on 28-30 March.

“Braskem has been able to achieve price premium as the first player in sugar-based PE,” Tittle said.

“[However], going forward this is a problem as ethane from shale gas in the US comes to play. In our opinion, biomass-to-plastics and chemicals is the holy grail,” Tittle added.

Biomass-based ethylene in Brazil on a global scale has the potential to be competitive with shale gas ethane, based on demonstrated technology that Nexant has evaluated as part of a technical due diligence over the last two years, according to the consulting firm.

In order to produce 1m tonne/year of ethylene, it will require 5m tonnes/year of biomass, Tittle said.

Brazil today produces over 200m tonnes of waste bagasse from sugarcane. This is something to keep in the radar screen looking in the future,” he added.

By: Doris de Guzman
+1 713 525 2653

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