MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — Cargill is acquiring Arkema’s epoxides business, giving Cargill end-to-end production capabilities in bio-based plasticizers and polyols and enabling the company to better serve its industrial customers with nature-derived alternatives to traditional petroleum-based additives.

The acquisition agreement includes a facility located in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, US.

“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 of Arkema’s epoxides business, Cargill said it expects to gain full control of the 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.

Additionally, Cargill said it expects the transaction 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.

Approximately 45 Arkema employees will be impacted by the transaction. Cargill said it plans to offer the employees positions within its 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.