Braskem, Toyota Tsusho conclude life cycle study on "green" PE

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem (NYSE: BAK) and Japanese firm Toyota Tsusho have concluded a joint study on the life cycle of the sugarcane ethanol-based polyethylene (PE) produced by Braskem at the Triunfo complex, in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state.

The study concluded that the "green" PE emits less greenhouse gases than the oil-based resin "even if it is delivered to the other side of the earth," Toyota Tsusho said in a statement.

The University of Tokyo conducted the analysis with the support of Braskem and Toyota Tsusho, using the preliminary eco-efficiency study performed by Brazilian center for sustainable development Fundaçao Espaço Eco.

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The analysis shows that 1kg of "green" PE emits 1.35kg of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions when produced in Brazil, shipped to Japan, used by a consumer as containers and packaging and then incinerated. In contrast, traditional PE emits 4.55-5.10kg during its life cycle.

As a result, the study demonstrates that 70-74% of greenhouse gases can be reduced by using "green" PE instead of the oil-based resin, the statement said.

Toyota Tsusho was one of the first companies to pen an agreement to purchase and distribute Braskem's "green" PE. Braskem started producing 200,000t/y of the ethanol-based resin in September and has plans to boost production either in Brazil or internationally.