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Sojitz and Braskem have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture company which will produce biomass-derived monoethylene glycol (bioMEG) and monopropylene glycol (bioMPG).
Sojitz and Braskem plan to make a final investment decision on the first commercial plant in FY2023 and start up the plant in 2025. This project plans to construct a total of three commercial plants. Braskem, the market leader and pioneer in industrial-scale biopolymer production, has been developing brand-new production processes for bioMEG and bioMPG with Haldor Topsoe A/S. As a leading developer, Haldor Topsoe A/S provides solutions and technologies for production of energy efficient fuels and chemicals for a sustainable future. Haldor Topsoe A/S owns key technology for this project. A demonstration plant started operations in 2020, and Sojitz and Braskem’s new joint venture company will scale up this production process for commercialization. Sojitz will promote these sustainable materials by leveraging its well-established global customer networks in a wide range of industries including chemicals, foods/beverages and apparel.
MEG is conventionally produced from fossil fuels and one of the major raw materials of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin, which is mainly used for plastic bottles, polyester fibres, and food packaging. Sojitz aims to produce 100% biomass-derived PET resin by collaborating with its ongoing project partners to commercialize biomass-derived purified terephthalic acid (PTA)(*), which is another major raw material of PET resin.
Sojitz established the “Sustainability Challenge” as the company’s long-term sustainability vision for 2050 and aims to create sustainable growth for both Sojitz and society by working to achieve a decarbonized society through these activities.
*Sojitz invested in Green Earth Institute Co, Ltd. in June 2021. Sojitz and Green Earth Institute are developing a low-cost process to produce biomass-derived isobutanol by using microbes (Corynebacterium) developed by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE). Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd. is providing technical support for the development of low-cost production processes that overcome the challenges of realizing high concentration production. Isobutanol is converted to PTA through paraxylene (PX).