Teijin Aramid produces super strong fibers in the Netherlands under the brand name Twaron®. In the Netherlands, the company has facilities in, among others, Delfzijl and Emmen. Their fibers are used worldwide in products that need to be made stronger, lighter, and more durable. For example, in car tires, light freight containers, and protective clothing. To produce Twaron® fossil resources are used for which there are currently no sustainable alternatives.
Site Manager, Edward Groen, from Teijin Aramid in Delfzijl explainsthat his company wants to examine the possibility of producing a so-called bio-based version of their Twaron®fiber. “Sustainability is an important subject for us. We are focused on both sustainability targets in the chain by using our products with a lighter weight and longer lifespan and reducing our CO2 footprint during production. Here we are looking at reducing energy flows and making them more sustainable. And we’re also looking into the possibilities for greener raw materials. It’s fantastic to be doing this scouting with a partner in Groningen.”
To develop a green feedstock Teijin Aramid works together with the company BioBTX in Groningen. This company developed a sustainable technology that can transform renewable resources, such as biomass and residual products, into chemical resources, mainly benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX). With the BioBTX technology, it is possible to produce these so-called aromats in a sustainable manner and, thus, largely reduce CO2 emissions. BioBTX recently opened a pilot plant to produce aromats on the Zernike Campus in Groningen. Based on these aromats the chemical company Syncom will produce specific building blocks. The polymer and fibre will be made in the Research Center at Teijin Aramid in Arnhem, and based on the processes in Delfzijl and Emmen.
Pieter Imhof, CEO at BioBTX, responds enthusiastically. “We have already demonstrated that it is technically feasible to make bio-based BTX and polyester. Via this path and with the renowned Teijin Aramid, we want to demonstrate that it can also be used as a raw material for high-quality applications that have very strict quality requirements!”
Innovation and jobs
The delegates Henk Brink from Drenthe Province and Patrick Brouns from Groningen Province are very happy about this initiative. Brink says this is an nice innovation for the region. “Teijin Aramid is, of course, a world player with Twaron®. They have nearly 1,000 employees in the North alone. If this bio-variant is indeed successfully implemented, it will be a plus for the environment and for employment. This project is a first step in that direction.” Brouns says he is excited about the associated job opportunities and increased sustainability. “We cannot keep turning a blind eye. Our climate is under pressure, and we all have to work together to reduce CO2 emissions. It is good to see that the chemical industry is taking responsibility for its part.”
The initiative of Teijin Aramid and BioBTX will also help further strengthen Chemport Europe’s position. Errit Bekkering, Project Manager at Chemport Europe, says: “The Northern Netherlands is already an important green chemical region, even internationally. This collaboration project between Teijin Aramid and BioBTX is a perfect example.” He is also positive about the support from the provinces Drenthe and Groningen. Teijin Aramid has sites in Delfzijl and Emmen. If this project is successful, it will be beneficial to both sites. “It is also good to see that it is being recognized by the boards of both provinces”, according to Bekkering. Groen and Imhof are thankful to the provinces and Chemport Europe. “Without their financial support, we probably could not have gotten this initiative off the ground”, say both entrepreneurs.
BioBTX B.V. is a company focused on the development of sustainable technologies for the chemical industry. BioBTX developed the ICCP (Integrated Cascading Catalytic Pyrolysis) technology in which platform chemicals, mainly aromats, such as Benzene, Toluene and Xylene (BTX) can be produced in a sustainable and cost-competitive manner. These aromats are essential, basic chemicals for the production of plastics.
This technology is very flexible regarding which raw materials can be used, such as liquid and solid biomass that is not competing with food, but also end-of-life materials, such as plastics and composites.
Our ICCP technology can contribute greatly to the circular economy and sustainability in the chemical and plastic industry. BioBTX is already collaborating with partners in the entire value chain to further develop and commercialize the technology. www.biobtx.com
Teijin Aramid is a subsidiary of the Teijin Group and world leader in aramid. Where strength, sustainability, safety, heat-resistance, or light weight are needed, the aramid fiber Twaron®, Sulfron®, Teijinconex® or Technora® is present. These products can be found worldwide in various applications and markets, such as automotive, ballistic protection, marine, civil engineering, protective clothing, ropes, fiber optic cables and oil & gas. These high-quality materials – produced at the sites in the Netherlands and Japan – offer a wide range of products. Thanks to our specialized knowledge and years of experience, we are able to continue working on new products and solutions. Often together with clients and partners via our worldwide sales and marketing organization. If you would like to learn more about the world of aramid and other high-quality products, or if you are interested in exchanging ideas for new solutions. www.teijinaramid.com