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Arkema launches new renewable PVDF range from crude tall oil for Li-ion batteries

Arkema has launched its new sustainable Kynar PVDF range. These new grades will claim 100% renewable attributed carbon derived from crude tall oil (CTO) bio-feedstock, according to a mass-balance approach.

Kynar CTO PVDF grades using the mass balance approach under the ISCC+ certification process will be produced first in Arkema’s Pierre-Bénite plant in France for its European customers, focusing initially on grades specifically targeted for the lithium-ion battery market.

Kynar CTO grades will be offered as functionally identical alternatives to Arkema’s flagship binder grades, Kynar HSV900 and Kynar HSV1810.

This patent-pending technology allows a climate change impact reduction of almost 20% of the Kynar PVDF binder (expressed in kg eq. CO2/kg, according to the ISO14040 standard) while reducing dependence on upstream crude oil consumption. The crude tall oil used in upstream feedstock production is a residue of the Kraft process of wood pulp manufacture.

The new Kynar CTO grades are certified to be compliant with responsible forestry standards. They do not result in deforestation, and there is no direct competition with food crops.

Arkema has been a leader in advanced bio-circular polymers for many years. Now, we are taking a huge step forward to make fluoropolymer grades using bio-sourced carbon only. It’s a remarkable innovation that we proudly share with our customers across the world. There is a real demand for more sustainable solutions and we are happy to play a leading role.

—Anthony Bonnet, Global R&D Director for Fluoropolymers

In a second phase, the production of this range of sustainable PVDF grades will be extended to each of Arkema’s global PVDF manufacturing sites and will be made available to all traditional PVDF markets and applications.

Furthermore, Arkema has already announced a project in the United States to produce PVDF grades using fluorine derived as a co-product from the agrochemical industry, thus requiring no dedicated fluorspar mining. These grades are expected to be commercialized by mid-2022.

PVDF is the second largest fluoropolymer sector after polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and is used as a binder in the production of electrodes for lithium-ion and lithium metal polymer batteries and as a separator coating. The sector has benefitted from strong growth in electric vehicle (EV) demand, notes market intelligence firm Roskill.

World production capacity for PVDF is dominated by China. Leading global producers include Arkema and Solvay, which both have facilities in China, Europe and the US.

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