UPM BioMotion™ are wood-based renewable functional fillers from UPM Biochemicals for innovative and sustainable solutions in the chemical industry.
Given the urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions from rubber products, they offer a sustainable alternative to replace the two dominant fossil-based fillers in rubber products - carbon black and precipitated silica.
The Portfolio is based on biochemicals produced from certified sustainable and regional hardwood and sawmill waste in a biorefinery in Leuna.
The UPM BioMotion™ products can make a significant contribution to improving the sustainability of end-use applications in the rubber industry, in particular through weight reduction and significantly lower CO2 emissions. The functional fillers are mainly used in elastomers, which are used in various applications including the automotive industry, floor coverings and shoe soles.
The production process is patent-protected and unique worldwide.
In addition to the improved carbon footprint, UPM BioMotion™ products also have greater purity. Furthermore, they enable a weight saving of up to 25 percent in rubber applications compared to fillers based on fossil raw materials. For the automotive industry in particular, weight savings mean higher mileage, lower costs and an additional reduction in CO2 emissions.
Only recently, the European Rubber Journal ranked these products number four in the top 10 projects for new, sustainable elastomers. Furthermore, UPM Biochemicals' investment in the biorefinery in Leuna has made it to the finalists in the competition for the German Corporate Sustainability Award 2022 and has been shortlisted for Chemical Week's Sustainability Awards.
Based on its specific surface area ranging from 10 m²/g – 40 m²/g, they fall into the category of semi-reinforcing functional fillers. Due to the polar nature of its surface, RFFs show a strong interaction and reinforcement in polar rubbers, like NBR, AEM, ACM, and FKM. In non-polar rubbers, like EPDM, SBR, or NR, typically lower levels of reinforcement are achieved in direct comparison to traditional functional fillers with similar specific surface areas
Currently, there are three grades to offer with a different specific surface area between 10m2/g and 40m2/g. There is ongoing development to expand the product range shortly
They are available in pellet (granulate) format. They should be stored in a clean, dry space away from exposure to high temperatures, open flames. Pelletized Grades are much easier to handle due to significantly better flow and conveying properties. They would be commercially available in big bags (2m3) and low melting PE bags (EVA) ranging from 5kg to 20kg.