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Coatings company Beckers Group has presented a high-performance coating containing phthalic anhydride from plastic waste. It is a world’s first, made in a pilot by Beckers, BioBTX and Symeres.
Editorial office / Berlin

Phthalic anhydride is important for polyester resin production as it is the most commonly used aromatic acid and makes up 40-50 percent of the resins in which it is present. Traditionally, it is made from petroleum.

Supply chain

Circular Resin
Circular resin

Beckers is working in collaboration with BioBTX and the research institute Symeres to create an alternative supply chain for sustainable aromatic monomers made from plastic waste. BioBTX has developed a method for turning it into BTX (benzene, toluene and xylene). Symeres then take and oxidise the xylenes into aromatic phthalic monomers, that can be used as a drop-in by Beckers to create resins for metal coil coatings.

“This is an important step forward in terms of producing more sustainable resins and paints,” says
Julien Marquiant, Resin Lab Manager at Beckers. “It really is a game changer for us and our ability to incorporate high-quality materials made from plastic waste.”

Ton Vries, Managing Director at BioBTX: “The collaboration with Beckers proves that circular solutions can already be realised if parties from different industries join forces. In this case it does not only prevent the plastic waste from growing, it also simultaneously substitutes the need for fossil-based resources.”

Significant benefits

The pilot is still being developed but can have significant sustainability benefits. Besides upcycling
thousands of tonnes of waste plastic into high-value products, early estimates suggest that the process has the potential to reduce a white coating carbon emissions by at least 10 percent using such recycled material compared with virgin raw materials. Beckers will validate the quality and suitability of the phthalic anhydride produced by Symeres using the BioBTX xylene. Symeres is actively looking for a potential partner to develop and license this technology over the next 3-5 years.

See Beckers Group’s website for details.

Image: Mr.1/Shutterstock