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High Performance Bio-based Renewable Solutions

Arkema is a world leader in ultra high performance polymers that are bio-based / renewable. For over 70 years, Arkema has been a leading innovator in both monomer and polymer production from castor oil feedstock. Arkema is well known for its flagship amino 11 chemistry and the Rilsan® polyamide 11 (PA 11) and Pebax® Rnew® polymer ranges. Both ranges of polymers are recyclable.

 

Arkema is also a world leading supplier of bio-based sebacic acid (DC10) and derivative monomers (DA10) as well as complementary renewable PA 610 (Rilsan® S) and PA 1010 (Rilsan® T) polymer ranges.

Range Typical Description Typical Applications Typical % Bio-based Content
Rilsan® polyamide 11 Flexible ultra high performance with outstanding moisture resistance and impact & durability properties Automotive tubing, fuel management, fittings, oil & gas production lines; Pneumatic and hydraulic lines 100
Rilsan® Fine Powders Polyamide 11 powder coatings  Heavy duty protection of metals; 3D printing of high performance parts 100
Rilsan® HT Flexible high temperature performance ("flexible polyphthalamide") Light weighting (metal/rubber replacement) in automotive applications up to 70%
Rilsan® Clear Flexible, highly transparent, BPA free Optical (high performance eyewear); Headphone bands, Food processor equipment; Medical masks up to 65%
Pebax® Rnew® Ultra lightweight high performance thermoplastic elastomers  Sports shoes/boots with outstanding energy return and lightness; Medical catheters with tremendous torque translational efficiency; Industrial belting up to 97%
Rilsan® T Polyamide 1010  Industrial filaments, hoses, tubing 100
Rilsan® S Polyamide 610 Industrial filaments, fibers, brushes, toothbrushes, molded fittings up to 62

Castor Oil Feedstock

Arkema is a global pioneer in amino 11 chemistry derived from the oil of the castor bean. Simply stated, this means we have unique know-how in how to specifically cleave the 18 carbon castor oil chain into an 11 carbon (C11) and a 7 carbon (C7) fraction. The C11 fraction is further reacted in a complex series of highly specific steps to produce the amino 11 monomer (aminoundecanoic acid).

 

This monomer is then polymerized either alone or in combination with other comonomers to produce some of the world's highest performing polyamide resins.

 

They are either entirely or partially bio-based / renewable and have a favorable climate change impact compared to conventional polymers derived from fossil fuels (petroleum). Detailed LCA (life cycle analysis) may be discussed upon request.

Sustainably Sourced

The bean of the castor plant has a number of advantages as a sustainable feedstock:

 

  • It generally does not compete with food. The castor bean provides little nutritional value for man or animals. Almost all of its downstream values are in industrial applications.
  • It grows in semi-arid to sub-tropical regions, often in remote locations where little else can sutainably grow.
  • The bean is non-GMO.
  • The castor plant requires very little irrigation and is naturally pest and drought resistant.

Arkema is a member of the Pragati initiative in India, a cooperative project with BASF, Jayant Agro and the NGO Solidaridad. Pragati encourages and educates local farmers on sustainable and responsible castor plant farming.

 

A Unique Integration

A Proven Legacy

Invented in France during World War 2, Rilsan® polyamide 11 was considered an essential polymer during the evolution of the modern automotive design and in several more recent innovations like additive manufacturing (3D printing), high pressure deep sea oil production, lightweighting and replacement of metals & rubbers in cars and trucks, and in next generation high performance sports shoes.

Rilsan® Polyamide 11 - a truly unique bio-based polymer range

Renewable + Recyclable + Durable + Light Weight = Sustainable

Rilsan® polyamide 11 polymers are frequently chosen for their lower density, lower moisture absorption, improved dimensional stability, and better flexibility compared to shorter chain length polyamides. They are also often chosen for their improved impact and abrasion resistance when compared with polyamide 12. 

 

In addition to their high performance, these resins are often specified due to their outstanding combination of being entirely bio-based, recyclable, tremendously durable (long life), and light weight. A part that is molded or extruded using Rilsan® polyamide 11 polymer typically uses 20% less polymer on a weight basis than conventional short chain nylons.

 

Arkema produces Rilsan® PA 11 polymers in all three major regions - Europe, USA, and Asia.

 

Arkema has recently announced an investment plan to add significant amino 11 monomer and polyamide 11 polymer capacity in Asia.

Pebax® Rnew® - a premium bio-based elastomer range

Pebax® elastomers are based upon proprietary polyether block amide chemistry. The Pebax® Rnew® range, specifically, contain bio-based polyamide blocks - each grade is thus at least partially bio-based / renewable. All Pebax® elastomers are renowned for their truly exceptional energy return, lightness, toughness and impact resistance (especially at low temperatures).

 

World Leading Elastomeric Performance

Pebax® Rnew® elastomers are frequently specified in sports shoes/boots by world leading athletes and famous sports brands. Countless world records have been set by Pebax Powered® footwear. Usain Bolt put his trust in Pebax® elastomers as he powered his way to victory, as did the first, second, and third place finishers in the Rio De Janeiro marathon. Not to mention the hundreds of World Cup goals scored by Pebax Powered® soccer stars!

 

The unparalleled retention of energy efficiency (low loss due to hysteresis) allows the athlete to run faster, straighter, and longer.

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