Kraton CTO is a byproduct of pine wood pulping (Kraft process) used by many paper mills. The term “tall” originated from the Swedish term for pine trees. The pulpwood is delivered to pulp mills and is chipped and boiled with an alkali solution to produce black liquor and pulp. The water from the black liquor is then evaporated and the black liquor soap is skimmed off, and acidulated to make CTO.
CTO is then processed through Kraton’s bio-refinery into four different fractions: tall oil fatty acid (TOFA), tall oil rosin (TOR), distilled tall oil (DTO) and pitch. These fractions can be upgraded into biobased chemicals that enable customers to improve product performance, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reuse valuable materials.
Since CTO is derived from pine trees, it is not as sensitive to seasonable changes like other plant-derived alternatives. This, in combination with our world-class bio-refineries, enables excellent composition consistency and constant high quality. CTO is biobased, natural and has an overall lower carbon footprint compared to vegetable alternatives. CTO does not compete with or displace edible crops, such as soybean or palm.
Kraton TOFA are used in a wide range of industrial applications, providing unique degrees of unsaturation and fatty acid distribution, light color, excellent lubricity, color and oxidative stability, and low-temperature properties. The functionality of these products lies in the long carbon chain, acid function of the carboxyl group, and unsaturation of the double bonds. The degree of saturation and fatty acid distribution depends on the region of origin. TOFA from European origin – particularly the Nordics – often has more double bonds compared to TOFA with an origin closer to the equator. Kraton TOFA products are marketed under the SYLFAT™ tradename. Kraton offers additional fatty acid products derived from CTO under the CENTURY™ tradename.
Kraton DTO grades contain 10-40 percent rosin acids, and offer an excellent solution for functional products like metalworking fluids, oilfield chemicals, soaps, cleaners and alkyd resins. Kraton DTO products are marketed under SYLVATAL™ distilled tall oil.
TOR is a primary bio-refinery product derived from CTO. TOR and TOR derivatives are suited for a variety of applications such as tackifying agents for tapes and hot-melt adhesives; as a bonding agent in printing ink and road marking paint; as emulsifiers in rubber production; and as a paper treatment agent. Kraton TOR products are marketed under SYLVAROS™ GRS, SYLVAROS NCY, SYLVAROS rosin and disproportionate rosins (DR) and SYLVAROS disproportionate rosin soaps (DRS).
Kraton CST is another byproduct of the Kraft process and is produced by distilling the volatile compounds from pine wood pulping. CST goes through a refinery and yields fractions called terpenes, which can be sold into industries – such as the flavor and fragrances or as detergents / cleaning solvents. Terpenes can also be upgraded to Tread Enhancement Additive™ TEA™ for tires or tackifying resins for adhesives. Alternatively, Kraton uses alpha-methyl styrene (AMS), a petrochemical raw material, for tires and adhesives applications.