With an eye to sustainability, Braskem developed the world's first polyethylene from a 100% renewable source: sugarcane. This item is one of more than 760 patents registered by the Business in Brazil and abroad.
The first product manufactured with the “green polymer ” was the Banco Imobiliário Sustentável (“Sustainable Monopoly”) board game, sold by the Estrela toy company. Several other companies gained a new awareness of the importance of including the material in the composition of their products and established partnerships with Braskem, such as Danone, Nestlé, Tetra Pak, Johnson & Johnson, Natura, Procter & Gamble, Faber Castell and Coca-Cola, among others.
In 2014, Braskem was listed as one of the Planet's 50 Most Innovative Companies by the U.S. magazine Fast Company. The only Brazilian company to make the list, the company was highlighted for its research work on products from a renewable source, such as "green plastic".
In the region with the lowest rate of precipitation in Brazil, Odebrecht Ambiental and Braskem have come together to recycle water at the Camaçari Petrochemical Complex, in Bahia. With an industrial effluent treatment project and by taking advantage of rain run-off, it has been possible to save 1.5 billion liters of water in 2013, with a projected future increase to 7 billion liters per year.
The difference is in the separation of effluents, to guarantee that only those with little contamination are destined for reuse. The main objective is to reduce the demand on water resources for industrial purposes, in order to reserve them for human consumption. The new process uses less electric power, makes use of rain water and generates water at a cost reduction of 30%, which contributes to the competitiveness of the industries at the complex.
For the Centro de Inovação e Tecnologia Ambiental, located at Cetrel – an Odebrecht Ambiental company –, the program won first place in the FINEP 2013 Prize in the "Sustainable Innovation in the Northeast Region" category.
PVC is one of the most versatile thermoplastics, being formulated specifically for each application. In Brazil, the tiles and roofing market is on the order of 600 million square meters per year. To meet this demand, Braskem developed a new market for PVC roof tiles, which involved bringing in machinery from abroad and adapting it for Brazil, as well as the structuring of the production and conditioning chains of the resins supplied.
In Brazil, sun exposure is high, which requires the creation of a polymer more resistant to ultraviolet rays. Other characteristics specific to the Brazilian market required a solution with low flame propagation on the exterior surface of the tile. The result was a new product in the world.
Tiles produced with PVC present technical differences inherent to the resin, with low flammability, resistance to chemical agents, lightness and durability, in addition to remaining stable in storms, hail and other inclement weather. Totally recyclable, they also reduce the number of support structures needed. The introduction of PVC in the manufacture of tiles has been so successful that Braskem is now working to develop an innovative resin to exclusively meet the demands of this market.
In partnership with one of the largest producers of disposables in Brazil, Braskem developed a special high-rigidity polypropylene resin (PP) for the manufacture of cups. The properties of the resin permitted the production of cups of a quality superior to polystyrene cups. PP offers greater resistance to breaking and tearing, permits the manufacture of colored or transparent products and is microwavable.
The partnership was also extended to the development of equipment that manufactures the polypropylene cups. The machinery designed for this purpose is among the most productive in the world, at a lower cost, and adapted to the characteristics of the domestic market. Braskem has placed 27 units of this equipment in the Brazilian market, foreseeing the sale of 35 thousand tons of PP per year, which may reach as much as 90 thousand tons.
The challenge to build 37 schools in only two years, to house about 20 thousand students in Belo Horizonte (MG), led Inova BH, an asset of Odebrecht Engineering & Construction - Infrastructure, to adopt an innovative new construction method in Brazil: Light Steel Frame .
With this technology, walls are composed of a framework of metal studs that support the entire load of the building. At the same time, partitions between rooms are quickly installed by the use of cement boards and drywall, screwed directly onto the structural framing.
To assure thermal and acoustical comfort, vapor barriers are used, to impede the invasion of humidity. Fiberglass insulation fills the walls and turns them into acoustic and thermal barriers, adding energy efficiency and sustainability to the project.
The main advantages of this method are: standardization of the construction process, industrialization and planning, ease and speed in assembly, improved levels of thermo-acoustical performance, light weight, adaptation to any architectural design, durability and longevity of the structure, ease in installing electrical wiring and plumbing, improved quality control, sustainability (energy efficiency, renewable materials and low rate of waste) and safety.
The Light Steel Frame construction system is predominant in the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe. In South America, Chile has also adopted the technology, contributing to the reconstruction of the country following the earthquake of 2010.
Previously unheard-of in Brazil, bubbledeck – polypropylene spheres for light-weight slabs – was introduced in the country by means of a project developed by Braskem, in partnership with the Bubble Deck company. In addition to supplying the resin, the Business supported Clients and companies in adapting the technology to the Brazilian market.
More common in Europe, this construction system follows the same principles of a solid slab, with a 35% reduction in weight. The system consists of plastic spheres incorporated into the slab and spaced uniformly between two welded metal screens. The spheres are inserted in the spaces of the screens, occupying the area of the concrete that does not perform a structural function. The product allows for savings in the use of materials such as steel, wood and concrete, thus reducing environmental impacts.
Among the advantages of bubbledeck are: reduction of beams and pillars, improved acoustic insulation and a reduction in carbon emissions. This system of slabs was used in the construction of the new Federal District Administration Center, which was built by Odebrecht.
The Embraport Seaport Terminal in Santos (SP) – an asset of Odebrecht TransPort – uses an innovative technology: weighing containers directly on the RGTs (Rubber Tire Gantry Crane) – a type of crane used to move cargo. The technique eliminates the need to remove the cargo in the yard in order to weigh it on highway scales.
This alternative significantly reduces the time a container remains at the terminal, avoiding truck waiting lines and reducing the pollution of exhaust gases in the atmosphere. Designed and developed by Embraport, the technology stands out from all others on the market due to the level of precision of the equipment.
In the previous process, loads were removed from the ship and placed on vehicles, one by one, to be individually weighed. The new system is more dynamic and the containers remain a shorter time at the terminal.
A technique originating in Norway has accelerated the construction of a viaduct at the Caxambu Cloverleaf interchange, located at Km 67 of Engenheiro Constâncio Cintra Highway (SP-360) in Jundiaí, in the State of São Paulo. The work was undertaken by the Rota das Bandeiras Concession – an asset of Odebrecht TransPort.
Called Ultralight Backfill , the method makes use of styrofoam blocks, called Expanded Polystyrene Blocks (EPS), instead of conventional backfill, which consists of earth. Because it is lighter, the material can be used on land with soft soil, common along that stretch, a fact which helps streamline the construction of the viaduct.
For the construction of Wind Residencial, Odebrecht Real Estate Developments introduced innovations in the inside partitions of the undertaking, creating high-performance walls . The solution was developed through a simplified process of execution: vertical galvanized profiles to which gypsum sheets are affixed and filled with an inert synthetic mortar.
Encouraged by the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology (TEO), members of the Group have opportunities to develop their curiosity and creativity to promote innovation. For this purpose, tools are offered to expand their knowledge and develop
Knowledgeable People, capable of satisfying Clients through innovative solutions that contribute to a better world, as stated in 2020 Vision.
Created in 2008 and complying with Law 11.196/2005 of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, known as the "Positive Law," Odebrecht's Technological Innovation Program (POIT) selects innovative projects whose procedures and processes have been implemented at construction sites. POIT maximizes the potential efficiency of an undertaking, emphasizes the worth of the people involved in the activities and offers financial benefits to companies, since it generates innovation within the development cycle.