LANXESS Inorganic Pigments uses sugarcane to environmentally friendly generate energy

Sustainability – a matter of principle

Uerdingen -

In Porto Feliz in Brazil a new on-site power plant is starting up. This will increase the efficiency and environmental compatibility of the on-site production of iron oxide pigments, which are marketed globally as Bayferrox® and regionally as Po Xadrez®. The innovative, highly efficient cogeneration plant for the production of electricity and steam has a capacity of 4.5 MW and achieves an efficiency of up to 90 percent. It is powered by bagasse, a fibrous component of sugarcane that is left over after sugar production. Thanks to the use of this renewable, environmentally friendly raw material, energy can be produced on a completely CO2-neutral basis. The amount of CO2 released is exactly the same as that previously absorbed by the sugarcane crops during growth.

The project, which was launched in 2008 and cost around EUR 8 million, was completed as planned notwithstanding the global economic crisis. The start-up of the new cogeneration plant is enabling the company to cut CO2 emissions at the site significantly. Annual climate gas emissions will be around 44,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents less than in 2002.

LANXESS’s Inorganic Pigments business unit is thus documenting its commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly process technology. “The deployment of resource-conserving, environmentally production processes is an important part of our global sustainability strategy; and the new power plant in Porto Feliz is another decisive milestone,” says Joerg Hellwig, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit. “For us, economic and ecological sustainability go hand in hand. For example, we comply with the latest safety standards at all our sites. And we avoid emissions whenever we can or, if this is impossible, we neutralize them. At the same time we want to supply our customers with added value. We want to be a reliable partner for them and enable them to manage their business sustainably too. This is our business philosophy for long-term success.”

Some 250 people work at Porto Feliz producing iron oxide pigments, primarily serving the North and South American markets. With this power plant project LANXESS has created 12 new jobs. The São Paulo region in which the site is located is also one of the most important areas for sugarcane cultivation in the whole of Brazil. This results in a high availability of this cellulose-containing raw material in the immediate vicinity of the Porto Feliz site.

Together with our plant in Jinshan/China and our main site in Uerdingen/Germany, Porto Feliz is one of our core pillars for a sustainable production of inorganic pigments.


Birgit Steinacker
Inorganic Pigments