Non-phthalate plasticizer gives flexible PVC an environmental boost

Perstorp, a leading supplier of polyols, is launching a new renewable-based polyol ester (non-phthalate) plasticizer Pevalen Pro. It will reportedly make flexible PVC an even more attractive choice of plastic, based on a significantly lower carbon footprint versus competing materials and technologies. With 40% renewable content, Pevalen Pro not only gives PVC an environmental boost as a renewable true non-phthalate plasticizer but also provides superior performance properties. The intent is to boost renewable content to 100%.

New Pevalen Pro plasticizer gives flexible PVC an environmental boost. (Photo: Perstorp)

Jenny Klevås, Perstorp Global Marketing and Product Manager for the polyol ester plasticizer platform, explains: “Brand owners and consumers are searching for new plastics and materials with a sustainable profile and low carbon footprint. We believe that flexible PVC with Pevalen Pro is the perfect combination as it offers precisely what they are looking for, that being a high- performance product with a significantly better environmental footprint.”

Perstorp launched Pevalen, a true non-phthalate plasticizer in 2014 as a premium performance alternative to phthalates, especially in sensitive and close-to-people applications where health concerns were, and are, in focus. Pevalen provides PVC producers with not only a cost-effective but also a low environmental impact solution, due to its plasticizing efficiency (less material required), faster processing (less energy), low volatility, high UV stability (prevents premature aging) and unbeatable softness for long-life performance. The launch of Pevalen Pro this year represents a timely and significant contribution to lowering the carbon footprint of PVC, underlining its importance as a sustainable plastic.

Plastics have received much negative press, but plastic remains a highly beneficial material in many aspects including safety, cost-efficiency, and durability. The over-reliance on single-use plastics is genuinely a cause for environmental concern, but by contrast, PVC is already a very sustainable plastic material. Indeed, PVC has one of the smallest shares of carbon atoms, and being lightweight, flexible and durable, promotes sustainability through its properties, giving products a longer- and often maintenance-free – lifetime use.

PVC is also a recyclable material if made the right way, which the proactive Vinyl Plus* initiative, to which Perstorp belongs, is focusing upon. This PVC industry-funded commitment to sustainable development aims to increase the recycling capacity of PVC and improve the overall sustainability performance.

Plasticizers are critical to flexible PVC, and the environmental attractiveness of PVC can be significantly increased by using the right one. It is in this context that Pevalen Pro is being launched to unlock further pro-environmental gains.

Currently, Pevalen has a clear cradle-to-gate sustainability advantage over leading plasticizer competitors, such as DINP, DOTP, and DINCH, based on GWP (Global Warming Potential). As plasticizers make up a significant part of PVC (up to 40% in some applications) the potential for producers to lower their carbon footprint is already available today by using Pevalen.

That pro-environmental advantage grows significantly by choosing the new renewable Pevalen Pro and it will be initially available with up to 40% renewable content, with the long-term potential of becoming fully renewable. This will be beneficial to all actors in the value chain and especially to brand owners in the main sensitive and close-to-people areas, such as coated fabrics, artificial leather, flooring, wall covering, automotive interiors and sports and leisure products.

Pevalen Pro is a direct (drop-in) replacement for Pevalen with no compromise on quality and performance, making it very easy to switch to. The renewable grades are made under the Mass Balance concept and backed by third-party ISCC Certification, which guarantees that the bio-based input is sustainably sourced and lives up to the requirements set for a more livable future.

Future Pevalen Pro grades will offer even higher levels of renewable content with the longer-term aim of helping Perstorp customers to transform to 100% renewable grades. Klevås concludes: “Pevalen Pro is another important step on our journey to becoming Finite Material Neutral, and with Pevalen Pro we can help our customers to make high-performance sustainable PVC products."

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