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Super fibre Twaron will turn super green
Three companies from the Chemport Europe ecosystem, Teijin Aramid, BioBTX, and Syncom have joint forces to further reduce the environmental impact of the ultra-high-strength para-aramid fibres that are sold under the name Twaron. Fossil-based building blocks were replaced by their equivalents from renewable sources.
Aromatic compounds from biomass
BioBTX has developed technology to produce aromatic compounds (benzene, toluene, and xylene) from biomass. These basic building blocks for the chemical industry are also used by Teijin Aramid. With the help of Syncom, the BioBTX compounds were successfully introduced into the production chain for Twaron. This resulted in a yarn that has the same properties as the original Twaron®, but a lower carbon dioxide footprint.
Transition to greener, renewable materials
The collaboration was born from the ambition of Teijin Aramid for a transition towards greener, renewable materials, explains Peter ter Horst, CEO at Teijin Aramid: ‘Our work with BioBTX and Syncom represents an important step forward on our sustainability journey and underlines the importance of collaboration as we work toward our goals. I am proud to see us moving together in the right direction, and I also thank the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen, as well as Chemport Europe, for their invaluable support.’
The use of sustainable raw materials makes a significant contribution to the circular economy, in terms of reducing the use of fossil raw materials and generating fewer CO2 emissions, says Cor Kamminga, director at BioBTX.
Successful pilot: identical properties
Cor Kamminga: ‘Our technology produces substances that are identical to oil-based products. But to be commercially successful, we must demonstrate their use in existing high-grade products, such as aramid fibers. The pilot project with Teijin Aramid has not only led to this positive result, but we have also gained valuable knowledge that will help drive our ongoing innovation.’
Twaron: inherently green
Ter Horst emphasises that Twaron® is inherently green as it increases the durability of products like car tires or protective clothing. Introducing green chemical building blocks is the next step in creating an even greener product. Teijin Aramid’s ultimate ambition is a fully circular aramid chain. In January 2020, a big step was taken in this area as well, when German company CFK won the ‘Sustainable Industry Challenge: Chemport Europe edition’ organized by the Economic Board Groningen (EBG). CFK presented a potential solution for the recycling of Aramid fibres embedded in products like composites, a challenge set by Teijin Aramid.