German chemical and biotech giant BASF has partnered with global materials manufacturer Trinseo to produce renewable styrene, the companies announced on 29 March.

BASF can produce two types of styrene with a mass balance approach – renewable feedstock-based styrene and styrene based on chemically recycled feedstock.

To produce biomass-balanced (BMB) styrene, BASF replaces fossil resources like naphtha or natural gas with renewable feedstocks derived from organic waste or vegetable oils.

When manufacturing chemically recycled styrene, BASF uses pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically, such as mixed household waste or end-of-life tyres, contributing to plastics circularity.

Trinseo had been using the first supplies of renewable styrene from BASF for use in its solution-styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products, BASF said.

S-SBR was supplied to major tyre manufactures while PS products were used in applications such as food packaging and appliances.

The material had already been processed by its first customers, Trinseo said.

“By creating synergy across the value chain, the Trinseo-BASF collaboration is an important move towards helping our customers reach their sustainability goals as well as the development of a truly circular economy,” said Trinseo vice president plastics and feedstocks Nicolas Joly.

The initiative was also in line with Trinseo’s 2030 sustainability goals, he said.

Trinseo manufactures plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber from 17 sites around the world. Its products are used in a range of markets including automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, packaging, footwear, carpets, paper, construction and tyres.

BASF’s portfolio is organised into six segments: chemicals; materials; industrial solutions; surface technologies; nutrition & care and agricultural solutions.