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Biobased from Brazil

DSM Functional Materials is teaming up with Empresa Brasileira de Biotechnologia (Ebrabiotech) to work on bio-based materials. The Brazilian firm and Elgin, IL-based division of Royal DSM have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop materials for the concrete floor coatings market based on castor oil.

DSM Functional Materials is teaming up with Empresa Brasileira de Biotechnologia (Ebrabiotech) to work on bio-based materials. The Brazilian firm and Elgin, IL-based division of Royal DSM have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop materials for the concrete floor coatings market based on castor oil.

At DSM, sustainability is manifestly a core value - and a serious business. Just how serious is evident from, for example, the companies' commitment to finding what it calls ECO+ solutions. These are products and services that, when considered over their whole life cycle, offer clear ecological benefits (in other words, a clearly lower eco-footprint) compared to the mainstream solutions they compete with. By 2015, ECO+ products will account for over 80% of the innovation pipeline and towards 50% of the total running business sales (compared to an estimated 34% in September 2010). The new partnership with Ebrabiotech is expected to contribute to this aim.

Castor beans
DSM plans to utilize castor bean oil as a feedstock for bioplastics.

 This commitment to sustainability is further evidenced by the fact that in December 2011, DSM signed up as the latest partner of The Sustainability Consortium, a global platform that drives scientific research and collaboration to develop global science-based measurement and reporting systems and standards for more sustainable products and processes. And it was recently underlined in the 9th annual Sustainability Yearbook 2012,  launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where DSM is named the sector leader for the chemical industry. The SAM Sector Leaders are firms that set the industry standard for environmental, social and governance practices.

When it comes to sustainability, DSM is very serious, indeed.

Says Henk-Jan Koenen, Business Unit Director DSM Functional Materials: "For DSM, sustainability continues to be our primary innovation driver."

Now, the company is venturing into Brazil for a new line of DSM-branded bio-based floor coating materials on the basis of the non-edible castor bean. Brazil is a major producer of the castor bean, which has a naturally high oil content in its seeds, while its growth requires relatively low inputs.

The new line of bio-based materials developed by DSM and Ebrabiotech will initially target the industrial concrete flooring market. However, future materials developed between the two companies are expected to also offer sustainable new low-carbon footprint solutions for Aquaculture and Structural Steel Protection applications.

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