Minneapolis, MN — As demand for bio-based industrial solutions continues to grow, Cargill has entered into an agreement to acquire Arkema’s epoxides business which includes a facility located in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.
After closing, the investment will give Cargill end-to-end production capabilities in bio-based plasticizers and polyols and enable the company to better serve its industrial customers with nature-derived alternatives to traditional petroleum-based additives.
“Industrial customers are increasingly searching for solutions made without petrochemicals, especially in consumer applications where potential concerns around toxicity and sustainability continue to grow,” said Kurtis Miller, managing director in Cargill’s bioindustrial business.
“Adding this capability will allow us to innovate across the polyol value chain, transforming our vegetable oil into highly functional compounds that bring benefits like flexibility, durability and heat stability to a wide range of industrial products.”
The Blooming Prairie plant specializes in epoxidized vegetable oils. The facility’s epoxide manufacturing process combines soybean oil and other vegetable oils with hydrogen peroxide, resulting in the oxidation of soybean/vegetable oil.
These specialty oils, or epoxides, are key components for Cargill’s existing portfolio of bio-based plasticizers and polyols.
With this acquisition, Cargill will gain full control of their production process, transforming its commodity soybean oil into epoxides, and ultimately, creating the bio-based plasticizers and polyols used to make a broad range of products that support the conveniences of everyday life, such as shower curtain liners, tiles, carpets and furniture.
By combining the Arkema manufacturing capabilities with Cargill’s bioindustrial expertise, the company expects to further support its plastics, automotive, medical, furniture, flooring and specialty chemicals customers with a broader portfolio of bio-based solutions for applications like polymer and lubricant modifiers, coalescing agents for paint and foam for furniture.
Cargill expects to offer the approximately 45 affected employees of Arkema positions within the Cargill’s bioindustrial business, which in addition to bio-based plasticizers and polymers, also develops nature-derived solutions for construction, power generation, performance chemicals, and binders and adhesives.
The acquisition builds on other recent moves by Cargill to expand its presence in the bioindustrial space, including its recent partnerships to build a bio-butanediol facility, its acquisition of specialty beauty ingredient supplier, International Floratechnologies, and, together with its joint venture partner, PTT Global Chemical, develop a greenfield of an integrated NatureWorks facility in Thailand.