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CTO fractionation
A role model of a sustainable chemical business?

ENRICO POLASTRO*, JUHANI TUOVINEN
Arthur D. Little, avenue de Tervurenlaan 270, Brussels, 1150, Belgium
* Member of HPC Today’s Scientific Advisory Board

Abstract

CTO (crude tall oil) fractionation – a little known niche in the chemical space – represents an exquisite example of a bio refining activity contributing to both reduce dependency on fossil feed stocks as well as to avoid substantial volumes of greenhouse gases emissions as mirrored in avoided GHG (Greenhouse gases) emissions in the EU alone of 400 kt – equivalent to roughly a quarter million cars.
This is resulting from the low carbon footprint of CTO derived materials compared to their substitutes – be these vegetable oil or crude oil based.
Valuable lessons can be learned from the CTO industry by all chemical players wanting to enhance their carbon footprint and sustainability profile, including:
– Leverage as much as possible feed stocks that are considered as waste by others
– Add value to all side streams
– Carefully position own products in applications where they can truly provide useful functionalities in substitution of less environmentally friendly alternatives.


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