Circular chemicals: reusing and recovering waste from Braskem's production process

Braskem's pursuit to expand its offer of sustainable solutions goes way beyond polymers, also including the production of chemicals that are part of the production chain of different industries.

This is why we have dedicated ourselves to developing an increasingly sustainable chemical portfolio, which derives from the use of waste taken out of Braskem's own production process or from the chemical recycling of plastics.

"Through circular chemicals, Braskem has seen successful results, such as reducing waste from our production and extending our current portfolio, making chemical options available on the market that combine quality, safety, performance and reduced environmental impacts", explains Renato Pellicci, Braskem's Solvents strategy and market development leader. "This has a positive impact on the entire chemical value chain and to society, because it is able to strengthen the circular economy, increasing the presence of sustainable raw materials in a series of products that are part of every one's daily lives", he adds.

Circular Solvent Platform: a team ready to innovate

At Braskem, the development of circular chemicals relies on the work of the Circular Solvents Platform, an internal research unit with experts focused on studying opportunities to make new circular products viable by analyzing the best ways to produce these chemicals.

"Our company has a vibrant innovation movement that encourages our personnel to further explore this territory by taking a look at our internal production environment, as well as the environments of our customers and partners," says Pellicci. He also points out that, "the Circular Solvent Platform combines various parallel initiatives within the company that have tremendous potential to become a reality, including in the short term."

The process takes place through a thorough mapping of the waste flows of Braskem's polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) units. This is used to define strategies that add value to each of these flows, using circular and innovative business models.

The work has yielded fruit, and today Braskem's portfolio of circular solvents already includes two products: Circular Hexane and Sensitis 17/21 Circular, in addition to many others under development. "The positive acceptance by the market is reflected in the profits from the sales of these products, which exceeded 1 million dollars last year," Pellicci stated.

Find out more about the circular chemicals in the Wenew portfolio:

Circular Hexane: Braskem's first circular solvent, Circular Hexane is a competitive and high-quality alternative, combining sustainability and performance. An aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent originating from the polyolefin production process, Circular Hexane can be applied to the adhesives, rubbers, thinners, and other products.

Sensitis 17/21 Circular: an isoparaffinic hydrocarbon solvent from the polyolefin production process, it combines circularity, local production and high performance, making it a complete sustainable solution for a variety of applications. It has a rather low concentration of aromatic compounds and low reactivity and toxicity, making it a solvent that is safer for people and the environment. Some of its primary applications include industrial cleaning and degreasing, paints and home care.

In addition to solvents, Braskem also has other circular chemicals, including:

Circular Caustic Solution: recycled alkaline solution, originating from the recycling of an aqueous gas washing solution in the cracker. It is an excellent sustainable alternative to the chemical replenishment process due to its high caustification efficiency and presence of sulfides. Its main applications are paper and cellulose packaging and soap.

Would you like to find out more about Braskem circular products? Access our page here and learn more.

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