Biobased PP and PE Result from Neste and IKEA Collaboration

Commercial-scale pilot plant slated for startup before year’s end.

Over the last several years, we have reported on Braskem’s Green PE and also the company’s capability to produce Green PP, though commercial production has yet to surface. Interestingly, a collaboration started in 2016 by Finland’s Neste and the Netherlands’ IKEA, may result in the first commercial PP and PE, based on 20% renewable content.

The production of these bio-based plastics, slated for startup in a pilot plant this fall, will be based on Neste’s 100% renewable hydrocarbons. The collaboration led to Neste’s ability to turn waste and residue raw materials, such as cooking oil as well as sustainable vegetable oils into PP and PE.

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Known for decades as a provider of innovative fuel solutions—from sulfur-free petrol to renewable diesel, refined out of waste and residue—Neste is focusing on research and testing of future renewable raw materials. Said Lars Peter Lindfors, senior v.p. of technology, ‘We believe that for example algae and biomass from forestry and agriculture will play a significant role as feedstock in the future, for production our renewable products.”

IKEA will use the new plastic in products that are part of the current product range, such as plastic storage boxes, starting with a limited number of products. As capacities improve, more products will follow.

Said senior v.p. Tuomas Hyyrylainen from Neste’s Emerging Businesses business unit, “The production of biobased plastics at a commercial scale is a major achievement in the cooperation between Neste and IKEA, while it also marks a significant milestone in Neste’s strategy. IKEA is the first company to benefit from the developed supply capability that helps companies and brand owners towards replacing fossil-based raw materials with sustainable bio-based raw materials.”