Total Petrochemicals forms alliance for bioethylene technology

10 March 2011 11:13 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Total Petrochemicals has teamed up with research group IFP Energies nouvelle (IFPEN) and its subsidiary Axens to develop new technology for the production of bioethylene by dehydration of ethanol, the France-based petrochemicals major said on Thursday.

The technology will be based on Total's original proprietary catalyst development and will lead to the competitive production of bioethylene from renewable resources with lower energy use and reduced CO2 emissions, the company said in a statement.

Within the agreement, Total will continue its work on optimising the catalyst formulation at Feluy, Belgium.

IFPEN will complete the process development at its site in Lyon, France, while technology firm Axens will finalise development and prepare the technology for commercialisation.

Total said the technology is expected to be ready for industrial implementation around the end of 2011. It did not disclose any financial details.

“With this new approach we will be able to respond to a growing demand for plastics based on renewable raw materials,” said Bernadette Spinoy, Total Petrochemicals senior vice president for base chemicals.

Bioethylene could be integrated in various polymer applications  such as polyethylene (PE), polyethylene teraphthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS)  in existing, unmodified downstream polymerisation installations, Total said.

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By Graeme Paterson