Geleen, The Netherlands – Trinseo SA and Dutch butadiene catalyst technology company ETB have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the development of purified bio-based 1,3-butadiene.
Under the partnership, the companies will aim to scale up ETB's single-stage process to produce bio-based 1,3-butadiene, Trinseo announced 29 April.
As part of the deal, the US materials supplier will conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a dedicated bio-based 1,3-butadiene pilot plant in Europe.
Once operational, the pilot plant is intended to include a purification unit to achieve a purity target of 99.7%.
The collaboration will, at the initial stage, focus on demonstrating the viability of sustainable ethanol-based synthetic rubber in support of green tire production.
According to Trinseo, the pilot plant evaluation study is expected to be completed by the close of 2021.
Founded in 2013, ETB has developed a single-stage process for producing butadiene from ethanol using a polyfunctional catalyst. The company currently operates a 2-tonne bio-butadiene pilot plant in Russia and holds relevant patents in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, US, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa.
Through the collaborating with Trinseo, the company expects to increase the purity of its products and ‘unlock new opportunities’, according to Vladimir Trembovolsky, CEO, ETB.
“This new partnership with ETB enables us to move towards truly differentiated material solutions with a lower environmental impact than ever before,” said Francesca Reverberi, VP, engineered materials & synthetic rubber, Trinseo.
Producing bio-based butadiene from ethanol with close to 100% purity will enable Trinseo customers to develop more sustainable products “without compromising on performance,” she added.