S. Korean chemical companies penetrate into biopolymer market
Biopolymers are manufactured using raw materials extracted from corns, wheat, and sugar canes, while plastic is produced out of petroleum.
SK Chemicals has been taking the lead in developing and commercializing eco-friendly and high-quality plastic materials. SK Chemicals launched diverse biopolymer products such as ECOTRAN, PURATAN, ECOPLAN, and ECOZEN. SK Chemicals has been reaping visible outcomes since it started operation of processing raw materials and manufacturing in February this year. Notably, SK Chemicals’ ECOZEN passed Japans’ quality standards and was commercialized in Japan. ECOZEN is eco-friendly bioplastic, which is manufactured out of raw materials extracted from corns and wheat.
On April 26, Lotte Group’s affiliates Honam Petrochemical Corporation and KP Chemical have decided to cooperate with Japan-based Toyota Tsusho Corporation and produce PET (polyethylene terephthalate) using bio-materials, starting June. Toyota Tsusho Corporation will purchase and process bioethanol which is refined from sugar canes and supply bioethanol to Honam Petrochemical for three years. KP chemical will be taking charge in selling PET. “KP Chemical aims to generate 139.5 billion won ($123.31 million) in sales of PET by a year after the operation,” a KP Chemical official said.
Kumho Petrochemical is also eyeing on bioethanol-related business, which is a base material for biopolymers.