I’m Green is produced by Brazilian company Braskem. I’m green is a Bio-PE or Green PE, a polyethylene made with renewable resources (sugar cane) instead of fossil oil. The molecular structure of BIO-PE is similar to that of Fossil-PE, this is a called a “drop-in” in the technical jargon.
Polyethylene made from sugar cane
Polyethylene made from renewable sources is the result of investments in innovation and Braskem’s commitment to the environment. The sustainable development promoted by Green PE creates value for the industry’s production chain, for clients and for society.
Green Polyethylene combines high performance and processability.
In comparison to conventional polyethylene, the main difference is that the ethanol used for Green PE is not produced using crude oil, but instead is derived from sugarcane. Therefore each ton of Green PE produced captures up to 3.09 tons of CO2 thus helping to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The current product portfolio comprises of several HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE types. These are particularly suitable for extrusion blow moulding, injection moulding and film extrusion. Green PE performs in the recycling stream similar to conventional polyethylene and is therefore 100% recyclable.
Biopolymer that offers versatility and a favorable carbon footprint
By using Green Polyethylene, Braskem’s partners can offer unique products made from renewable resources that make a significant contribution to reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the chain.
Green Polyethylene is a renewable alternative to Polyethylene, a thermoplastic resin largely used for packaging in consumer goods industries, such as food and beverage, cleaning and personal care products, as well as toys, trash containers and plastic bags.
At the end of its lifespan, Green Polyethylene can be recycled in the same chains already developed for conventional Polyethylene. The I’m green™ seal can be applied to finished packaging and products that have Green Polyethylene in their composition.
Different source, same properties
Green Polyethylene is a drop-in biopolymer. Substituting conventional Polyethylene with Green Polyethylene does not require investments in new plastics manufacturing machinery.
The Green Polyethylene portfolio features approximately 30 grades in the HDPE, LLDPE and LDPE families that cover a wide range of applications.
The vast majority of these grades have renewable carbon content between 80% and 100%, based on their biogenic carbon content measured in accordance with the standard ASTMD6866.
There are a number of recognized certifiers in Europe, the USA and Asia that offer labels for the renewable content of a material or products based on ASTMD6866. The raw material used to make Braskem’s Green Polyethylene is sugarcane ethanol.
Life Cycle analysis
To address the challenges of today’s modern world and society’s growing demands for more sustainable solutions, “Life Cycle Thinking” is one of the major challenges faced by industries and governments when designing their products and proposing new regulations.
To learn more about the impacts associated with the production of Green Polyethylene, Braskem conducted Life Cycle Analysis, Water Footprint and Land Use studies of the product. The latest LCA study was concluded in 2016, with the effort drawing on the participation of specialists in the sugarcane industry, ethanol suppliers and specialized consulting firms.
The LCA was conducted in accordance with the standards NBR ISO14040:2009 and NBR ISO14044:2009 and a panel of specialists were charged with reviewing the work.
Six categories of impacts were covered representing the entire process, from the cultivation of sugarcane to the product’s arrival at Braskem’s factory gate: The new study encompasses more categories: climate change, ozone layer depletion, inhalable inorganics, photochemical ozone formation, acidification, water use, soil use, natural resources consumption, ecotoxicity, human toxicity, eutrophication.
The data used was in large part obtained from primary sources in the production processes of both Braskem and ethanol suppliers. To gain a better understanding of the differences in the impacts between fossil-based and bio-based plastics, the results of conventional Polyethylene and Green Polyethylene were compared for all six categories.
The broad product portfolio enables Green Polyethylene to be used in rigid and flexible applications that are already well consolidated in the market as well as in growth applications. Braskem’s technical teams provide support for the development of new products and ensure shorter approval times for Clients and the achievement of high renewable-content levels in final products.
The technical information on the grades that meet the needs of Blow Film and Cast Film Extrusion, Fiber Extrusion, Injection Molding, Blow Molding and Tubing processes can be found in this catalog.
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