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Borealis has the following innovation-related goals:

  • in Polyolefins (PO), to continue to develop unique products and solutions based on proprietary technology, with high purity, improved performance and recyclability;
  • in Hydrocarbons & Energy, to evaluate new technologies, improve energy efficiency and emissions and improve feedstock purity and flexibility, as well as contribute to the Circular Economy with alternative feedstocks, chemical recycling and CO2 avoidance; and
  • in Fertilizer, Melamine and Technical Nitrogen Products (TEN), to improve processes, reduce emissions, develop and improve products, and investigate alternative feedstocks.

More generally, the Group has a continued innovation focus on health, safety and the environment (HSE), project implementation and innovation delivery.

Key Achievements and Results

During 2019, Borealis made further progress with its innovation projects across the Group.

In Polyolefins, Borealis continued its key innovation programmes, resulting in:

  • new breakthrough applications enhancing the circularity of packaging products; – breakthrough compounds for automotive, energy and new business development;
  • new products including record-breaking cable insulation, solar panel solutions and lightweight materials for automotive applications;
  • 120 priority patent applications being filed in 2019; and
  • the launch of several step-change products, including: * Bormed™ BJ868MO, a heterophasic polypropylene copolymer with a high melt flow rate and good toughness within a wide temperature range, which is easy to process for complex shapes. It is intended for use in the production of medical and diagnostic devices, such as pipettes tips;

* ADCA – ME1254, an ADCA-free grade used to produce foamed telecom cables; and
* Borcycle™ MF1981SY, a compound especially suited for use in appliances, for black parts needing good surface aesthetics. This compound is a valuable addition to Borealis’ rPO portfolio owing to its unique recipe, with talc and over 80% recycled material, providing an ideal balance between stiffness and impact.

In Hydrocarbons & Energy, innovation achievements in the year included:

  • supporting implementation of light feedstock opportunities and evaluating and testing alternative hydrocarbon sources;
  • evaluating and testing bio-feedstock technology; and
  • a successful pilot of electrical splitting as a liquid separation technology.

In Fertilizer, Melamine and TEN, Borealis’ innovation achievements included:

  • finalising the low-temperature shift catalyst benchmark, with clear recommendations for new catalyst loads; and
  • delivering several metallurgy investigations, with high impact on locations and HSE in terms of root-cause analysis for plant failures, leading to increased plant reliability or avoidance of unplanned plant shutdowns, and material selection for new investments in corrosive environments.

Innovation Success Stories


Within Polyolefins, the New Business Development function identifies and assesses new opportunities and develops them accordingly. At present, the Foam & High Melt Strength Polypropylene, Solar and Emerging Markets units are addressed within New Business Development.

To turn innovative ideas into new business, New Business Development first identifies opportunities across all areas of Borealis Polyolefins and beyond. As polyolefins show advantageous Life Cycle Analysis, they are increasingly replacing incumbent materials such as paper, metal, glass, PVC, polystyrene and engineering plastics. Then, after a systematic assessment which evaluates both market demand and unmet market needs, as well as any technical and commercial factors crucial to success, the new business opportunity is cycled into development.

Sustainability is an important part of the project assessment process. All projects must be HSE compliant and must pass a review of their sustainability impact compared with any existing solutions. In 2019, Borealis’ bespoke ‘Portfolio Sustainability Compass’ was introduced to all new innovation projects and product developments. The Portfolio Sustainability Compass is based on an industry sustainability assessment methodology and is used to assess the entire polyolefin portfolio, demonstrating the research contribution to Borealis’ sustainability journey. It considers specific criteria such as basic requirements in terms of ethics and profitability, chemicals of concern, stakeholder management and environmental comparative performance.

Once the project has achieved certain predefined goals, it is transitioned to the business within Advanced Products, where development and growth of this emerging business continues.

Key achievements in 2019 included the following:

  • in New Business Development, several applications such as polyolefin backsheet and encapsulant materials were launched for solar photovoltaic panels;
  • in Automotive, next generation fibremod carbon and additional grades for interior and exterior applications were developed;
  • in Pipe, the BorSafe™ family for water, gas and industrial pipe systems is growing and getting stronger, with new industrial pipe applications with enhanced performance and glass fibre reinforced PP-RCT ready-made compounds for plumbing and heating applications;
  • in Advanced Products, new sustainable solutions were developed for markets including appliances, concentrates & polymer modifiers, healthcare, oil & gas and structured products; and
  • in Circular Economy Solutions, high-performing polyethylene and polypropylene film grades for highly circular flexible packaging were launched, and new recyclable polypropylene-based food packaging has attracted widespread attention from customers.

Other notable developments in the year included Borealis:

Hydrocarbons & Energy

In Hydrocarbons & Energy, feedstock prices are volatile and innovative new sources of feedstock are required. This means that Innovation and R&D focused, among other things, on:

  • developing high-speed analytical tools and methods for rapid purity assessment of the feedstocks on offer; and
  • scouting of chemical recycling technology.

Fertilizer, Melamine and TEN

In Fertilizer, Melamine and TEN, Operations and Research & Development work closely together to identify innovative ideas, evaluate them through innovation projects and advance them to implementation in Borealis' operational units, as well as with customers. Examples of new developments include new ways of utilising waste, implementing monitoring tools, reducing emissions and adapting to alternative feedstocks, such as secondary phosphorous sources for NPK fertilizers.


Borealis will continue to develop technologies enabling the production of advanced materials that satisfy customers’ needs and keep the Group competitive in the market. The Group is also making a significant effort to develop and participate in the circular economy of polyolefins. Technologies that will enable or simplify the recycling of polyolefins are being actively developed with the highest priority.

Borealis will also continue to work on further improving the efficiency of its Hydrocarbons & Energy plants, as well as CO2 avoidance, monomer recycling and bio-feedstocks.

Innovation Highlights

Borcycle™: An Evolving Recycling Technology

With its Borcycle technology, Borealis’ ambition is to drive the shift from linear to circular product offerings, while caring for the environment. Borcycle transforms polyolefinbased waste streams into value-adding versatile solutions for demanding applications. Borealis strives to deliver peace of mind to its business partners, by providing premium and reliable performance and quality for recyclable PO solutions. The Group’s Borcycle portfolio offers solutions for applications in the rigid packaging, appliance and automotive industries. Moreover, partnership opportunities are being pursued in advanced mechanical recycling (for example, with EREMA) and in chemical recycling (for example, with OMV).

BorPure™ RF777MO: A New Resin for Flip-top Caps

Borealis launched BorPure RF777MO at K 2019. Based on the proprietary Borstar Nucleation Technology (BNT), this new resin fulfils demand for high-quality solutions offering excellent quality in terms of odour and excellent productivity. BNT allows for certain caps applications cycle time reductions of more than 10% thanks to fast crystallisation behaviour. As a next generation random polypropylene, BorPure RF777MO has been designed for use in flip-top caps, a growing caps and closures market segment.

Borstar® HE6069: The World’s First Laser-Printable, Extra- Low-Shrink Jacketing Compound for Fibre Optic Microcables

Global internet traffic is growing by 24% a year. This drives the need for better connection through fibre optic cables. As space is a limitation, especially in cities, the end connection is normally through micro cables. Traditional embossing techniques risk destroying the micro cables and ink jet text can be scraped off. Laser printing is therefore an interesting alternative. The problem is that most micro cables use black jacketing, which makes laser printed text unreadable. Borstar HE6069’s unique benefits include very fine contrast when using conventional laser-printing systems and scratch resistance. This offers customers a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to print on fibre optic cables. Borstar HE6069 also offers extra-lowshrink properties at high extrusion line speeds and excellent UV resistance with a fully formulated compound.

Collaboration between Borealis and Mondi Generates More Easily Recyclable, Polypropylene-Based Food Packaging

Borealis generated a breakthrough application, based on its proprietary BNT, that enhances the circularity of plastic food packaging. Using Borealis BC918CF, a special BNT-modified copolymer, Mondi – a global leader in packaging and paper – is producing new monomaterial packaging solutions for meat and dairy products. These offer the same excellent performance characteristics as conventional multimaterial packaging, while increasing yields for mechanical recycling plants. Borealis’ collaboration with Mondi has also shown that even better material performance can be achieved by using BC918CF in tandem with the random copolymer RB707CF.

Full Combined Annual Report 2019 (PDF)

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This online report contains only highlights and excerpts from Borealis’ Combined Annual Report 2019. Only the entire report is legally binding and it must be read in full to gain a comprehensive understanding of Borealis’ performance and activities in 2019. A copy of the Combined Annual Report 2019 can be downloaded here.