ARLANXEO: Keltan Eco part of the official match ball for Soccer World Cup 2018

Rubber with bio-based ethylene extracted from sugarcane reduces carbon footprint

  • Rubber layer in the adidas soccer ball made from bio-based EPDM rubber
  • High-quality characteristics identical to conventional EPDM rubber
(Image: adidas)

The new official soccer ball of the World Cup 2018 contains the bio-based EPDM rubber Keltan Eco from ARLANXEO, one of the world’s leading suppliers of synthetic rubber.

The EPDM rubber (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) Keltan Eco 6950 is the rubber basis for a sponge rubber layer directly underneath the “Telstar 18” ball’s outer cover. It serves as a moldable cushion for the ball and supports optimal bounce characteristics during games. Materials that are used in this layer must meet strict requirements in properties such as density, hardness and weight, and they must also demonstrate good processability. The most important performance characteristic, however, is the elasticity and resilience of the layer.

“For us, ecological sustainability was a fundamental criterion in the selection of products for the World Cup soccer ball,” says Stefan Bichler, project manager of Football Operations at adidas AG. “We wanted to create the new soccer ball using high-tech materials that have impressive performance characteristics and are also sustainable.”

“Keltan Eco has the renowned quality characteristics as EPDM rubber that is made using fossil raw materials,” says Martin Kleimeier, project director and Global Marketing Manager for the ARLANXEO Keltan business line. “With the full Keltan Eco portfolio, we have developed EPDM products that save resources, reduce our use of fossil-based products and also have a carbon footprint that is significantly lower than conventionally manufactured polymers,” adds Chretien Rooijakkers, Head of Global Marketing for the ARLANXEO Keltan business line.

Keltan Eco is the world’s first EPDM rubber manufactured using bio-based ethylene extracted from sugarcane. Depending on the ethylene content of each rubber grade, the proportion of bio-based material ranges between 50 and 70 percent.

Keltan Eco 6950 – the type used by adidas – is characterized by its amorphous structure and high crosslinking density. This leads to good low-temperature properties and meets the requirements for the best possible elasticity and resilience.

With six different grades of Keltan Eco rubber currently on the market, ARLANXEO is supporting the move towards more sustainable products and matching the ever stricter environmental requirements to help reduce its carbon footprint, whether in the sporting goods industry or the automotive industry. In the latter, Keltan Eco is used, for example, in profiles for auto body seals, window profiles and other seals. Other areas of application include artificial turf and athletics tracks.


About KELTAN Eco

KELTAN Eco is the world’s first commercial EPDM produced from bio-based feedstock. The ethylene used in this process is derived from sugar cane. Benefits of KELTAN Eco include: Bio-based content up to 70%, uncompromised quality, reduced dependence on fossil resources and reduced carbon footprint. Since end of 2011 ARLANXEO produces bio-based EPDM rubber at its Triunfo site in Brazil. Bio-based ethylene is produced by Braskem, our partner, and flows directly by pipeline to our EPDM plant. Independent Life Cycle Assessments of Keltan Eco EPDM grades versus their equivalent Keltan EPDM product have shown that the CO2 emission is reduced by more than 50%. KELTAN® Eco is a registered trademark of ARLANXEO Netherlands B.V..


ARLANXEO is a world-leading synthetic rubber company with sales of around EUR 2.7 billion in 2016, about 3,800 employees and a presence at 20 production sites in nine countries. The company’s core business is the development, manufacturing and marketing of high-performance rubber for use in, for example, the automotive and tire industries, the construction industry, and the oil and gas industries. ARLANXEO was established in April 2016 as a joint venture of LANXESS and Saudi Aramco.


ARLANXEO, press release, 2017-11-13.




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