LANXESS and TotalEnergies to cooperate on sustainable styrene

Corporate headquarters of LANXESS in Cologne (Image: LANXESS)

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS and French multi-energy company TotalEnergies have entered a cooperation on the supply of Biocircular styrene based on tall oil.

Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production. LANXESS uses the styrene to produce ion exchange resins. These products are applied in the treatment of wastewater and chemical process flows and in the food industry.

The sustainable origin of the styrene is certified in accordance with the mass balance approach of the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS standard. Under this approach, the certified and non-certified materials are mixed physically, but kept separately on a book-keeping basis. This method allows companies to document and track the materials and ensures the full traceability through the entire supply chain. LANXESS offers its products in accordance with this certification standard, relying on the same transparency for its raw materials.

“We are pleased to form this partnership with LANXESS, helping them reduce their carbon footprint. This is an illustration of the orientation taken by the Refining and Chemicals branch of TotalEnergies to develop lower carbon-intense products, in line with TotalEnergies’ Climate Ambition to get to Net Zero emissions by 2050,” said the vice-president of Marketing Base Chemicals Division at Total Refining and Chemicals, Jean-François Renglet.

Besides Styrene, LANXESS have also sourced other equivalents of fossil raw materials. Biocircular acrylonitrile is used for another type of ion exchange resins. The preservative Preventol is also available with various fatty acid mixtures based on sunflower oil. Prepolymers under the Adiprene Green brand contain starch-based polyether polyols. The intermediate Trimethylpropane Scopeblue consists of about half sustainable N-butylaldehyde. The composite Tepex Scopeblue is based on flax and polylactic acid. And the plastic Durethan Scopeblue uses biocircular cyclohexane and waste glass.

2050 Climate-neutral goal along the value chain

In August 2022, LANXESS announced plans to make its upstream and downstream supply chains climate-neutral by 2050 (Scope 3). This includes indirectly generated emissions, particularly in purchased raw materials, but also in logistics and end products. The targets are aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, according to Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

It launched the Net Zero Value Chain Program to achieve its Scope 3 targets by increased sourcing of raw materials that are bio-based, originate from a recycling process or are produced with renewable energy. LANXESS also plans for ‘green’ logistics and climate-neutral products.