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Plastics & Elastomers

World's First Renewable Ethylene Feedstock-based Bio-PVC

Donald Rosato – Mar 27, 2020

TAGS:  Green and Bioplastics    

Renewable Ethylene-based Bio-based Polyvinychloride Plastic waste and pollution have captured worldwide attention from the individual to business to government. Simple clean-ups are no longer enough. It is time to move away from the current linear business model of take, make, and waste and to move towards the way businesses design, use, and reuse plastics.

This will ultimately lead us to a plastic circular economy where plastic never becomes waste or pollution, but a resource too valuable to waste. This circular economy driver, in turn, has led to the demand for renewable content plastics as a first step.

Enter the novel bio-PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) development that departs from the use of traditional fossil fuel feedstocks in manufacturing. Instead, these bio-PVCs are based on renewable ethylene from certified biomass that does not interrupt the food chain while moving closer to a circular, carbon-neutral economy for PVC.

Let’s take a closer look at the first two bio-PVC materials suppliers – Ineos and Vynova.

Biovyn™ Bio-PVC by Inovyn (Ineos)

Inovyn is the PVC business unit of the major global plastics and chemicals supplier Ineos.

  • It is one of the top PVC resin suppliers in the world, where its plastics find application in many industrial end-uses.
  • It is among the top four PVC producers in the world by volume, with around 1,800,000 MT (Metric Tons)/year capacity to produce various grades of PVC at seven plants across Europe.

Biovyn™ 100% Renewable Ethylene Feedstock-based Bio-PVC
Ineos’ Inovyn Biovyn™ Brand 100% Renewable Ethylene Feedstock-based Bio-PVC

Biovyn™ is made from a renewable ethylene feedstock derived from non-food chain-based biomass.

  • It is the first fossil-free made PVC and will be produce 320,000 MT/year at Inovyn's Rheinberg Germany site.
  • In turn, it will receive renewable ethylene supplied via pipeline from sister company Ineos Cologne, Germany’s steam cracker that uses residue from wood pulp manufacturing.
  • The raw material is called UPM BioVerno and has also been used to make renewable ethylene-based polyolefins.

RSB-certified Vinyl Flooring & Other End-uses

Biovyn™ is Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) certified.

  • It delivers a 100% substitution of fossil fuel-based ethylene feedstock that translates into a 90% greenhouse gas saving versus traditional PVC.
  • It is the start towards achieving a carbon-neutral PVC circular economy, while maintaining traditional PVC performance features such as flexibility, durability, and recyclability.

Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Biovyn™ Certification
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Biovyn™ Certification

Rolf Hogan, Executive Director of The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), manages one of the world’s most valued peer-reviewed standard for the emerging bio-sourced circular economy. RSB, for example, is approved for voluntary company programs where compliance is required with the European Union (EU) Renewable Energy Directive’s sustainability criteria. 

Inovyn by Ineos has worked with Paris-based flooring firm Tarkett since the earliest Biovyn™ product development stages. Tarkett is a 135-year-old global leader in innovative flooring and advanced sports surfaces.

  • The first application of Biovyn™ by Tarkett will source Biovyn™ in a forthcoming 2020 new flooring collection.
  • Tarkett’s goal is to push the boundaries of sustainable innovation and accelerate its shift toward a circular economy model that responds to climate challenges.

Paris-based Tarkett RSB-certified Biovyn™ Vinyl Flooring
Paris-based Tarkett RSB-certified Biovyn™ Vinyl Flooring

Biovyn™ is expected to have numerous value-added applications across a range of industry sectors, including:

  • Highly specialized end-uses starting with building and construction (pipe, window frames)
  • Ultimately developing automotive and medical applications

Inovyn PVC End-Use Pipes (L) and Window Frame (R) Applications
Major Ineos’ Inovyn PVC End-Use Pipes (L) and Window Frame (R) Applications

Vynova’s Bio-PVC Plant to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Elsewhere, Tessenderlo, Limburg, Belgium-based Vynova has launched a second market entrant in renewable ethylene feedstock-based PVC resins that will empower their customers across all PVC end-uses to innovate their products while simultaneously enhancing their sustainability goals. Their renewable ethylene feedstock comes from certified, non-food-based, biomass. These bio-PVC resins are identical to traditional PVC grades performance-wise, resulting in a CO2 emission reduction of more than 90%.

Vynova Renewable Feedstock Bio-PVC Plant
New Entrant Vynova Renewable Feedstock Bio-PVC Plant at Beek, the Netherlands

Vynova’s renewable ethylenes cost twice than that of the conventional fossil fuel-derived ethylene, leading to a higher cost for their new, renewable PVC products.
  • Vynova's bio-PVC, available for both rigid and flexible applications, uses renewable ethylene supplied by SABIC's Geleen cracker unit in the Netherlands.
  • Vynova’s Beek, the Netherlands PVC plant can produce around 250,000 MT/year, with their Mazingarbe plant in France able to produce around 280,000 MT/year.

Bioplastics Professionals – Stay Alert!

Finally, to explore the newest bioplastic technical marketing product and application trends stay tuned and participate in SpecialChem’s Online CourseBioplastic Tour: 2020 Innovations & Trends (14th Edition)” today.

Bioplastics: Innovations & Trends

Other Commercially Available Bio-based Polyvinylchloride (PVC) Grades

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