SPIRIT ecosystem members gathered in a workshop to discuss renewable feedstock and CO2 reduction for plastics industry

In the first workshop event for the SPIRIT ecosystem this year, a group of industry and academic representatives discussed the role of renewable feedstock for the plastics industry. 

The event participants to the half-day workshop on the 17th January 2023 were warmly welcomed by Salla Roni-Poranen and Jari Lehtinen from Borealis. The purpose of the event moderated by Markku Heino from Spinverse was to ignite collaboration and discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the green transition in the plastics industry. The particular focus at the event was on two themes of the programme, namely renewable feedstock and CO2 reduction.

The keynote speaker Martin Seemann (in photo) shed some light into the future role and opportunities of thermal recycling methods for carbon-based materials studied at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Their mission is to create knowledge in thermochemical conversion and support their industrial partners, such as Borealis, in their ambitions towards abating carbon dioxide emissions, production of biofuels and thermochemical recycling.

The possible solutions of the green transition of plastics industry were exemplified through a series of short presentations by Juha Lehtonen from VTT, who presented ideas around new green feedstocks for olefins and polyolefins. Petri Vasara from AFRY continued by discussing the potential of biomass-based waste and residue feedstock for petrochemicals. Matti Heikkilä from Metgen joined online to provide an overview on the many opportunities of biotechnology. Tuomo Rinne from P2X Solutions then  highlighted the role of renewable hydrogen as a sustainable feedstock for plastics. Finally, views by a Biorefinery company were presented by Matti Sonck from Fortum Bio2X. Maarit Lindström from Finnish Forest Industries (Metsäteollisuus ry) talked about wood-based materials as renewable feedstock, including wood-based plastics.

The event participants were then divided  into workgroups to discuss the opportunities, challenges and cooperation under topics of Biomass to olefins andCO2 to olefins, and presented their findings at the end of the day. The productive afternoon ended in a lively discussion on different technologies and the challenges in the energy production. Jari Lehtinen summed up: “This workshop showed that wide collaboration within the SPIRIT ecosystem brings up new ideas and opportunities. Let’s work together to bring these ideas into concrete partnership projects to contribute to the goals of green transition set for the plastics industry.”


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