Polish synthetic rubber maker Synthos says that it has reached a major milestone in the development of advanced bio-butadiene technology. After completing a successful feasibility study in 2021, Synthos, technology firm Lummus Technology and its Green Circlebusiness have concluded that the bio-butadiene technology is ready for implementation, and the companies have agreed to move into the engineering and design phase of the project.
Given the confidence in the technology and the strong market demand for renewable materials, Synthos has committed to building a plant with a capacity of 40,000 tonnes/year of bio-butadiene – twice as much as the companies had originally planned. In addition to the plant capacity expansion, Synthos has confirmed that it will license German chemical firm BASF’s butadiene extraction technology from Lummus and leverage Lummus’ digitalisation capabilities for operational efficiency and reliability.
“Synthos is making great strides in developing a synthetic rubber product portfolio with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Entering the next phase of our collaboration with Lummus is another step toward our commitment to support our customers achieve their performance and sustainability goals,” said Matteo Marchisio, Synthetic Rubber Business Unit Director, Synthos.
He adds, “We believe the availability of sustainable synthetic rubber made from bio-butadiene will play an important role in the industry’s ability to meet the demands of modern mobility, and we are proud to partner with Lummus Technology to lead the way.”
“Since Lummus began collaborating with Synthos last year, it has become evident that this technology has the potential to be the new standard in our industry due to its renewable sourcing, production efficiency and low carbon footprint,” said Leon de Bruyn, President/CEO of Lummus Technology.
He adds, “The petrochemical industry is quickly adjusting to ambitious sustainability requirements, and at Lummus we continue to lead this change on multiple fronts. The commercialisation with Synthos of this bio-technology for more sustainable rubber products is one of several sustainable process solutions that are making a positive impact.”
Synthos produces synthetic rubber for tyres and technical rubber goods and works closely with global tyre manufacturers to develop solutions that have a reduced environmental impact such as tread materials with lower rolling resistance for improved energy efficiency and better wear for improved life.
In 2021, Synthos and Green Circle announced that they will collaborate on the development and commercialisation of bio-butadiene derived from bio-ethanol to enable the production of value-added, more sustainable synthetic rubber.