Dongsung partners with UPM to develop bio-based polyurethane material for footwear

Latest: South Korea-based Dongsung Chemical is entering into a strategic partnership with Germany’s UPM Biochemical to develop renewable products from bio-based raw materials, initially for footwear materials.

Dongsung Chemical aims to develop a renewable polyurethane product based on raw materials from UPM BioPura, a bio-based monoethylene glycol manufactured by UPM BioPura

UPM Biochemistry to invest EUR 750 million in Leuna, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Build the world’s first industrial-scale biorefinery to convert sustainably sourced, certified woody biomass into next-generation biochemicals, including Bio-MEG.

The Leuna plant aims to produce 220,000 tonnes of biochemical products per year and is scheduled to start production by the end of 2023.

UPM Biochemical Company and Dongsung Chemical Company will actively cooperate to develop environmentally friendly products using Bio-MEG, targeting the Asian market and its huge textile and footwear industries.

Dongsung Chemical plans to diversify its product portfolio by advancing an environmentally friendly product line and integrating UPM Biochemical’s Bio-MEG into its production.
The goal is to first apply it to footwear materials and then expand to automotive interior materials as well as adhesives.

UPM Biochemical’s Bio-MEG is made from sustainably sourced, certified hardwood. The hardwoods are sourced from forests in the area surrounding the Leuna factory in Germany. Biomass does not compete with food resources and has a carbon reduction effect of at least 70% compared to MEG based on fossil feedstocks. UPM Biochemicals is actively working on further optimization of the process to achieve carbon neutrality or even negative values ​​for the product.

ManWoo, CEO of Dongsung Chemical Company
“Through our collaboration with UPM Biochemicals, we are able to obtain a steady supply of next-generation biomaterials and apply them to our main products,” Lee said.

“We are delighted to partner with Dongsung Chemical as it pursues its strategy of replacing petrochemical feedstocks with bio-based feedstock alternatives and reducing the carbon footprint of its products,”
Michael, Vice President, Biochemistry, UPM Biochemistry
Duetsch added. “UPM Biochemical is building a world beyond fossil fuels, and we will work with our partners at Dongxing to provide outstanding solutions for their customers who are also eager to reduce their carbon footprint.”