World’s strongest fibre becomes a bioproduct

24.3.2020 / Forest bioeconomy future catalogue
Wire made of Dyneema fibre.
Metsäbiotalouden tulevaisuuskuvasto / Forest Bioeconomy Future Catalogue

The global chemical company Royal DSM is decreasing its carbon footprint by using wood-based raw materials from UPM. In addition to Dutch DSM, the collaboration includes Sabic from Saudi Arabia.

Under its Dyneema® brand, DSM manufactures polyethylene fibre, until now using fossil raw materials. The fibre is used to manufacture ropes and textiles, among other things.

Dyneema is said to be the strongest fibre in the world. In relation to its weight it is up to 13 times as strong as steel. In addition to materials used in lifting and hoisting, the fibre is used in aviation, marine applications, sports and personal protection.

The aim is to make the DSM fibre a bio-based one, using a technology by Sabic and the BioVerno naphtha by UPM. BioVerno is one of the products of UPM’s Lappeenranta biorefinery, made from tall oil, a residue of pulp manufacturing.

The solution enables DSM to decrease its carbon footprint and redirect its activity towards bio and circular economy. The partnership is an important step towards the company’s stated goal to procure at least 60 percent of its raw materials from bio-based sources by 2030.

The company affirms that the move to bio-based feedstock will not affect the fibre properties.

’By partnering with Sabic and UPM Biofuels, we are taking the next important step in our sustainability journey and driving our industry’s transition from conventional to renewable resources,’ says Wilfrid Gambade, President DSM Protective Materials in the company’s media release.

’This collaboration with Sabic and DSM is an excellent example of a future beyond fossils,’ says Juha Rainio, Sales and Marketing Director at UPM Biofuels.

Made from a residue of pulp manufacturing, the UPM BioVerno naphtha is superior to other bio-based raw materials in that it does not compete with food production over arable land.

DSM is a science-based company active in nutrition, health and sustainable living, employing 21,000 people. Sabic is an international chemicals company employing 36,000 people.

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