Driving circular plastics economy

As PIONEER for ready-to-use 3D printing materials, Evonik aligns its INFINAM® polyamide 12 (PA12) powders along improved overall eco-balances. The current material portfolio is being gradually expanded to further improve sustainability while maintaining technical performance.

A holistic circularity approach based on four main cornerstones

By its very nature, additive manufacturing has the potential to drive sustainable parts production at scale. The main advantages of 3D printing could play an important, even decisive role for producers and manufacturers towards series applications. The more transparent the sustainable journey becomes at the beginning of the value chain, the more impact these effects will have in the final application. Yet material manufacturers bear a great responsibility here because the sustainable result of an application stands or falls with the sustainable performance of the materials used.

With a growing emphasis on environmentally friendly manufacturing, the evaluation of the environmental impact of additive manufacturing processes is crucial for choosing case by case the most efficient and sustainable technology for parts production. Life cycle assessment of materials is an important tool to compute the environmental impacts of 3D printing processes.

Evonik drives circular plastics economy by contributing to both footprint and handprint values. Alongside factors such as production efficiency or the reusability of materials, our circularity approach includes the total life cycle assessments of our materials and their consistent improvement. We look not only at carbon footprint but also at other important factors such as water consumption and land use. Using green energy and renewable or recycled feedstocks for production, we improve significantly the overall eco-balance of our materials. And we work on end-of-life opportunities for our polymers.

Our formula to drive circular plastics economy — our RHILOSOPHY — is based on four main cornerstones:


Our new sustainable INFINAM® PA12 powders are produced using 100 percent renewable energies at the Marl Chemical Park. TÜV Rheinland has certified the associated life cycle assessments, attesting to an improvement in the company's own carbon footprint of nearly 50 percent. In the overall eco-balance, the comparison of the new sustainable material classes is positive even compared with the castor oil-based polyamides of Evonik's own Terra range . 

We are working to expand our range of sustainable PA12 powders to include the INFINAM® eCO product line. "eCO" stands for the company's goal of avoiding the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by using renewable or (renew-)circular raw materials via the mass balance approach. This method enables immediate CO2 reduction in existing plants without changing the quality of the products. The market launch of INFINAM® eCO is planned for 2023. 

We offer first INFINAM® PA12 grades which can be reused by only replacing the powder needed for the parts of the previous job. Furthermore we keep on developing new powder materials to increase their reusability rate during a 3D printing process.

We work on end-of-life opportunities for our polymers.

Circular plastics program at Evonik

Although, establishing an efficient circular economy is a complex thing: every single step in the production cycle must be re-evaluated, supply chains must be reorganized, new materials are needed.

Specialty chemistry is a key technology when it comes to developing new production and recycling processes. We created the Evonik Center for Circular Plastic Solutions to bring you together directly and easily with the right people who will enable you to find the right way to circular economy: with technologies, expertise, and contacts. So that the plastics industry soon becomes a circle. Our team is looking forward to hearing from you!