As consumers and our customers continue to demand more sustainable, circular products, we see our innovative products as a means to bolster our business strategy for growth.
We have invested in innovation for all business units intended to help create sustainable change, including developing new products and technologies and implementing projects to improve energy usage and raw material efficiencies.
Across all businesses, a driving force of our R&D efforts is the development of sustainable solutions that strive for less reliance on fossil fuels. Our approach to sustainable innovation is centered on energy and waste management, eco-based product design, the development of bio-products, pursuing advancements in recycling and chemical recycling, and establishing the means to fully close the loop.
Introducing Bio-Styrene as a Feedstock
There is a high demand throughout the marketplace for ways to add renewable raw materials into products. Trinseo recently met this challenge in December 2020 by producing bio-styrene, an important feedstock and an alternative to traditional fossil-based styrene. The material is used to produce resins such as PS, ABS, Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN), and Styrene Butadiene (SB) Latex.
Making Recycled Polystyrene via Dissolution a Reality
In partnership with Fernholz, a converter of plastic and polystyrene for the food packaging industry, Trinseo has developed and commercialized a high-quality recycled polystyrene. The material uses post-consumer waste and dissolution technology, resulting in a material with 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content that is used for dairy packaging.
Advancing Automakers’ Sustainability Goals
Trinseo’s PULSE™ ECO Engineering Resins is a portfolio of recycled content-containing PC/ABS for automotive applications, offering manufacturers an alternate material to help them achieve their sustainability objectives. Through an LCA, we have proven PULSE™ ECO was a more sustainable solution compared to fossil-based materials, with up to 48% less energy, 39% lower water consumption, and 39% less global warming potential.
Lowering VOCs for Carpet Adhesives
Trinseo has successfully created a more environmentally friendly latex recipe for carpet that reduces the quantity of VOCs released into the atmosphere by 30%. This has also resulted in lower odor, in addition to having a positive impact on indoor air quality in the carpet manufacturing process and as part of the carpet installation process at the end user’s facility.
Charging Up Sustainable Battery-Powered Vehicles
Trinseo plays an essential role in the growing lithium-ion battery market with VOLTABOND™ material, a high-performance adhesive used in the coating formulation of the anode electrode of a battery to bind the graphite and the conductivity agent powder onto the current copper collector. The material balances adhesion and ionic conductivity, electrolyte absorption, and chemical resistance, and it also enhances recharging characteristics and cycling lifetime.
Enabling Sustainable Paper & Board Applications
We have partnered with UPM Communication Papers to explore ways to enhance coating functionality. Our goal is to commercialize innovative, new sustainable paper-based packaging systems. This includes “flow wrapping” for snacks and dry food — a material that typically makes use of a non-recyclable protective barrier.
Scaling Up Sustainability in Synthetic Rubber
In 2020, Trinseo became the first synthetic rubber manufacturer to achieve mass balance certification (ISCC) for our S-SBR facility in Schkopau, Germany. Lab tests have proven tires made with functionalized S-SBR can reduce rolling resistance lab indicators by 50%, without compromise in wet grip or wear resistance. Tires generate 90% of their lifetime emissions during the use phase, and using Trinseo’s functionalized S-SBR can improve fuel consumption by 3 to 5%.
Making Tires from Tires
As an innovator driving the future of mobility from linear to circular, Trinseo is furthering the development and adoption of more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly synthetic rubber products. In 2020, Trinseo partnered with Tyre Recycling Solutions (TRS) to advance circularity in synthetic rubber and provide our customers with access to the high-performance, recycled rubber powder TyreXol™, which can serve as a partial replacement of virgin raw materials for rubber compounds.
Increasing Post-Consumer Recycled Content for Consumer Electronics
As more customers require complex, sustainable solutions for their material needs, Trinseo is developing its portfolio of resins containing post-consumer recycled (PCR) polycarbonate (PC). Our PCR offering is now available with up to 95% of PCR material. Our PCR-containing PC and PC/ABS EMERGE™ ECO Advanced Resins are suitable for a wide range of applications, including enclosures, powered parts, packaging, and semi-structural components.
Expanding Bio TPUs for Footwear & Fashion
Consumers in the footwear market expect more than just comfortable, lightweight, and ergonomic shoes that are also fashionable; they expect their footwear to be sustainable too. With our range of innovative bioplastics, our customers no longer need to choose between performance and the environment. Our materials deliver the same physical-mechanical properties and performance as legacy resins, while also delivering benefits for public health an environmental sustainability.
Joining the Fight Against Coronavirus
When the coronavirus pandemic upended life as we knew it, Trinseo stepped up to help support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to acute demand, we ramped up production of TPE for personal protective equipment for first responders and ventilators. We also began manufacturing testing equipment made of our CALIBRE™ medical-grade PC resin for the housing of a quick saliva test to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 15 minutes.
Learn more about Sustainable Solutions from Trinseo.