LG Chem partners with US' advanced biofuel company to co-develop bioplastic technologies

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 13, 2023, 17:06 Updated : April 13, 2023, 17:06

[Courtesy of LG Chem]

SEOUL -- In a bid to become the leading company in the rapidly-growing global bio-based plastic material industry, South Korean chemical company LG Chem has partnered with Gevo, an American renewable chemicals and advanced biofuel company. The two companies will cooperate to develop ethanol-to-olefin (ETO) technology which is vital for the commercialization of biomaterial-based propylene.
Olefins are a class of chemicals that include ethylene and propylene is the key material of plastics including polypropylene. Ethylene can be created using bio-ethanol made with plant-based materials such as corn and sugar cane. Conversion techniques for creating ethylene from bioethanol are now widely adopted by the global renewable material production sector, but the ETO technique is yet to be commercialized.
LG Chem said that the company forged an agreement with Gevo to co-develop and commercialize the ETO technique for bio-propylene. The South Korean chemical giant said that it would be able to provide clients with 100 percent bio propylene material that can be used in the production of vehicle interior products, diapers, and other plastic products. LG Chem said that the production of bio propylene produces 90 percent less than the ordinary plastic manufacturing process.
According to data released by Nova Institute, a global market research firm, some 4.5 million tons of bioplastic will be produced in 2023 globally. The world's production capacity will grow at an average annual growth rate of 14 percent until 2027.
To accelerate the company's bioplastic businesses, LG Chem broke the ground for a 310-billion-won ($230 million) plant in the southwestern port city of Dangjin. It will have a super-critical pyrolysis facility to break down plastics to create oil and a production facility for the company's aerogel insulation product.
기사 이미지 확대 보기