06/10/2014 18h28

Braskem inaugurates new laboratory for renewable chemicals

Located in Campinas (SP), the facility has the support from Investe São Paulo and will develop sustainable technologies focused on innovation and competitiveness

Investe São Paulo

Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, inaugurates this Friday, June 6, in Campinas (SP), a new R&D laboratory. With R$ 30 million available for 2014, the facility is focused on the development of projects related to biotechnology and chemical processes from renewable raw material, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainable technological alternatives.

“Braskem has been investing substantially in innovation. We wish Brazil becomes a reference in research and development of routes that leverage the competitive advantage of the country in renewable sources. Investing in technology is essential as it creates the appropriate environment to leverage the best ideas and projects, generating a virtuous cycle of development both for Braskem and for the domestic industry. It is the best way to remain competitive,” said Edmundo Aires, Vice President of Innovation and Technology at Braskem.

The investment is being supported by Investe SP, the State Government investment promotion agency associated with the Department of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Innovation. “We give priority to R&D projects like this, especially those that contribute to the development of new technologies that help the sustainable development of the chemical chain in São Paulo. Initiatives like this by Braskem transform the state into an innovation center in Brazil,” says the president of Investe SP, Luciano Almeida.

The laboratory has 33 researchers who will work in the development of biochemical and chemical routes and purification systems, seeking viable solutions on an industrial scale. Among the main projects are technologies for the production of green propylene and butadiene, metabolic engineering of microorganisms and the continuous improvement of the technology of ethylene from renewable sources, which is the raw material used for Braskem’s green plastic.

In addition to specific expertise, the lab brings together many high-performance equipment such as the High Throughput Screening Robot - HTS, the ultimate automated robot in use in South America and the first for this application in Brazil, capable of multiplying a researcher’s work up to 1,000 times.

Innovation Innovation is one of the key growth pillars of Braskem. In 2013, the company invested R$ 200 million in research and innovation projects, a value that should be maintained for this year. Expenditures are being made both in skilled professionals, able to cope with processes of high management complexity and technicality, and in new equipment and facilities.

An important recognition of the consistency of this effort was the inclusion of Braskem in the 2014 ranking of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, prepared by Fast Company, an American magazine of business and economics. Braskem was the only Brazilian company (and the only chemical company) in the list, and stood out for bringing a sustainable solution to the market, the Polyethylene from renewable sources (or Green PE). The conversion of ethanol produced from sugarcane into ethylene, raw material of Green PE, was fundamental for the company to be included in the list, where the seal ‘I'm green ™’, created by Braskem and applied to products that use Green PE, ensures the renewable source of the packaging and other products.

Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 16 million tons of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemical products. The largest producer of biopolymers in the world, Braskem has the capacity to produce 200,000 tons per year of polyethylene derived from sugarcane ethanol.