Arnhem, The Netherlands – Teijin Aramid has recently announced significant progress within a Dutch-based project to produce aramid (aromatic polyamide) fibres from non-fossil raw materials.
The company produces Twaron-branded p-aramid fibres, for applications including tire reinforcement, at its Dutch facilities, including those in Delfzijl and Emmen.
Since 2018, Teijin has been working with BioBTX and research firm Syncom to develop bio-based versions of the fibre, which is widely used as a tire reinforcement among other applications.
BioBTX has developed technology to transform renewable resources into bio-based raw materials to create benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) – three aromatic feedstock compounds for aramid.
The pilot took place on a laboratory scale, with assistance from Chemport Europe, and financial support from the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen.
Announcing the results of a pilot programme in late 2020, Teijin said the approach improved the environmental impact of its aramid production processes, without altering the properties, including strength and weight, of its yarn.
The alternatives to fossil-based BTX raw materials will help Teijin “to transition to greener, renewable materials as part of its long-term sustainability ambitions,” the company stated.
This, it added, will reduce the CO2 footprint of the company’s front-end manufacturing processes, while also helping customers and end users along the value chain to become more sustainable.
Teijin said its ultimate ambition is a fully circular aramid chain via, for example, the development of recycled raw materials from plastic waste and new collaborations with partners across the value chain.
“Our work with BioBTX and Syncom represents an important step forward on our sustainability journey,” said Peter ter Horst, CEO at Teijin Aramid, announcing the results of pilot study.
For BioBTX, Cor Kamminga said: “Our technology produces substances that are identical to oil-based products, but to be commercially successful, we must successfully demonstrate their use in existing high-grade products, such as aramid fibres.”
Teijin, he added, has “the experience needed to rigorously test our products and use them in high-quality applications. This project has not only led to this positive result, but we have also gained valuable knowledge that will help drive our ongoing innovation.”