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RELEASE: SK chemicals, Dongsung Chemical and Black Yak collaborate in the commercialization of sustainable footwear

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RELEASE: SK chemicals, Dongsung Chemical and Black Yak collaborate in the commercialization of sustainable footwear

(Information sent by the signatory company)

SEONGNAM, South Korea, April 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- SK chemicals (CEO Ahn Jae-hyun), Dongsung Chemical (joint CEO Baek Jin-woo and Lee Man-woo), and BYN Black Yak (president Kang Tae-sun, hereinafter Black Yak) announced on the 18th that they have developed sustainable footwear materials using the naturally-derived material "ECOTRION" and applied them to Black Yak's "Trekking Shoes 343 MAX".

Consumers are attracted to trekking shoes, launched as a new product this spring, because they satisfy both the high functionality required for outdoor activities and the trend of value consumption of ecological materials that reduce greenhouse gases.

The three companies presented this product after a year of collaboration. SK Chemicals is the supplier of 100% bio-based polyol "ECOTRION", while Dongsung Chemical develops bio-polyurethane resin "NEOPAN®" for footwear using it as a raw material. Using this material, Black Yak produced “Cushioned Foot Foam,” which is applied to the heel support layer of the midsole to minimize loading on the ankle and knee joints.

The midsole of trekking shoes is a key component that determines the weight of the shoe and acts like the suspension of a car to provide the level of function. Cushioning is important because the midsole must absorb the impact on the body and ensure safe strides, even on rough terrain.

Dongsung Chemical's "NEOPAN" biopolyurethane resin for footwear maintains the high elasticity and flexibility of existing polyurethane resins while using bio-based raw materials, providing the shock absorption function of "foot cushioning foam".

ECOTRION, used in NEOPAN, is an eco-friendly material that uses feedstocks that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40% compared to conventional petrochemical feedstocks. It is used in the production of spandex, artificial leather and urethane stretch materials that are difficult to recycle. ECOTRION has one less carbon atom in its chemical structure compared to petrochemical materials, which gives it a polymeric structure in a helical shape that allows the production of products with high elastic resilience, similar to a spring.

Kim Eung-soo, head of SK Chemicals' green materials business division, said: "Biomaterials, along with recycled plastics, are one of the promising alternatives to replace petrochemical materials. We plan to actively highlight the sustainability and functionality of PO3G, focusing on big brands that are leading the sustainable trend with biomaterials."

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