Global agribusiness giant Cargill has agreed to buy Arkema’s epoxides business, which includes an epoxidised vegetable oils facility in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.

The acquisition would allow Cargill to meet the growing demand for bio-based solutions for plastics, automotive and other industries, according to a Cargill statement on 27 September.

“Industrial customers are increasingly searching for solutions made without petrochemicals, especially in consumer applications where potential concerns around toxicity and sustainability continue to grow,” said Kurtis Miller, managing director in Cargill’s bioindustrial business managing director Kurtis Miller.

“Adding this capability will allow us to innovate across the polyol value chain, transforming our vegetable oil into highly functional compounds that bring benefits like flexibility, durability and heat stability to a wide range of industrial products.”

A speciality chemicals and advanced materials company, Arkema is headquartered in Colombes, near Paris, France.

The Blooming Prairie plant epoxide manufacturing process combines soyabean oil and other vegetable oils with hydrogen peroxide, resulting in the oxidation of soyabean/vegetable oil.

The specialty oils, or epoxides, are key components for Cargill’s existing portfolio of bio-based plasticisers and polyols.

As a result of the acquisition, Cargill said it would gain full control of its production process, transforming its commodity soyabean oil into epoxides, and ultimately, creating the bio-based plasticisers and polyols used to make a range of products, such as shower curtain liners, tiles, carpets and furniture.