Back to Biobase

Back to Biobase

Back to Biobase

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With 9 million hectares of sugar cane plantations and 560 million tons of sugar cane harvested each year, Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugar cane. Production is located in the central southern states such as Sao Paulo, which is 3,000 kilometers south of the Amazon rainforest. For Eurobottle and Flestic, the perfect place to begin our search for the origins of our biobased products.

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The story

We are in Presidente Prudente, the capital of Brazil’s sugar cane region. It is winter here, 28 degrees and sugar cane grows everywhere far beyond the horizon. In this part of Brazil, the sector provides jobs with income to as many as 4.5 million people. The plants grow here, over a year, to a height of about 3 meters after which they are ready to be harvested. The stem sucks itself full of water during the growth period after which the plant itself, under the influence of photosynthesis, produces and stores sugar in the stem. This creates a substance of sugar and water. During harvesting, the stem is separated from the leaf and root. The leaves serve as compost for the next generations that can grow up from the roots left behind. The logs are collected and transported to the site of our partner Atvos. Here the sugar water is extracted from the trunk and further processed.

We left the sugar cane fields of Presidente Prudente behind and headed east back to the more populated world. After 2 hours of driving on roads with sugarcane both left and right stretching over the horizon, we arrive at the Atvos site. Here, an almost fully automated process handles the separation of sugar water from sugarcane and its conversion to Ethanol. The divorce process consists of five steps. During the first steps, the pure sugar water is squeezed from the stem. Cane sugar is made from this, some 90 million tons of sugar annually. In the next steps, the rougher sugar water is pressed from the plant. This sugar water is very suitable for processing into ethanol. Per year, Brazil produces over 22.6 billion liters of this bioethanol.

We left the sugar cane fields of Presidente Prudente behind and headed east back to the more populated world. After 2 hours of driving on roads with sugarcane both left and right stretching over the horizon, we arrive at the Atvos site. Here, an almost fully automated process handles the separation of sugar water from sugarcane and its conversion to Ethanol. The divorce process consists of five steps. During the first steps, the pure sugar water is squeezed from the stem. Cane sugar is made from this, some 90 million tons of sugar annually. In the next steps, the rougher sugar water is pressed from the plant. This sugar water is very suitable for processing into ethanol. Per year, Brazil produces over 22.6 billion liters of this bioethanol.

At the next location, we will look at the process of converting ethanol to Green-PE.

In recent weeks, we have seen how sugar cane grows and is processed on the plantations of Presidente Prudente. Our story continues in the Rio Grande do Sul region, Brazil’s southernmost province. Here, at the site of our partner Braskem, the bioethanol will be converted into green Polyethylene. Over 22.6 billion liters of this bioethanol are produced and processed in Brazil each year. Some of this is used to serve as fuel for more than half of all cars in the country. Another part of the bioethanol is converted into plastic. This is where we dive deeper.

The ethanol from sugarcane is converted to Green ethylene through a dehydration process. The Green ethylene undergoes polymerization, a process where small molecules are linked together, creating polyethylene. I’m green Polyethylene, the plastic made from sugarcane. Braskem produces over 200,000 tons of I’m green Polyethylene on an annual basis and this number continues to grow. This is where the I’m green Polyethylene goes on transport to our own location in Dronten!

In our next blog, we will fly back to the Netherlands and look at the manufacturing process of packaging made from I’m green Polyethylene!

We’re in the Netherlands, back on familiar soil, looking at how the I’m green Polyethylene is used to make our biobased products from. The location of Eurobottle Flestic holding B.V. is located in Dronten. With 37 extrusion blowing and 26 injection molding machines, although it is a medium-sized production site, it is highly specialized in producing green and sustainable packaging. The the bottle is produced by the extrusion blowing technique. In this process, the biobased feedstock is inflated and formed by the mold walls. The cap is produced using the injection molding technique. In this process, the biobased feedstock is injected under high pressure into a mold and cooled.

Each year the Eurobottle Flestic holding B.V. processes about 60,000 kilos of green Polyethylene in its products. With these developments, together we continue to build a closed circular economy where we try to reduce the use of polluting raw materials as much as possible and promote recycling. By doing so, we take our responsibility towards society and try to reduce the ecological footprint.

 

Our search for the creation of biobased plastics!

Bas sugar cane
bas-factory
What is biobased
From sugarcane to a bottle

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