Thursday 13 April 2023

Mass Balance Approach for Plastics (ISCC) - A Concise Overview

Mass Balance Approach for Plastics (ISCC) - A Concise Overview

Hello and welcome to a new post where we discuss the basics of the mass balance approach for plastics. We touched on this topic in our previous posts and today we include some more examples too. 

Linear vs. circular economy

The linear economy consists of three major phases: produce, use, and waste disposal. The circular plastics economy also has three phases, however the waste disposal is replaced by recycling. Therefore we have to produce, use, and recycle.

Mass balance approach

The mass balance is a crucial step to enable the circular plastics economy. Essentially it is the production of polymers in a sustainable way by using alternative feedstocks (bio-based and recycled) and combining them with fossil-based feedstocks.

Bio-based can be bio-naphta which is a side product of the wood- and paper industry. Bio-based feedstoock can be obtained from bio-waste as well. Another bio-feedstock source is pyrolysis oil, generated by mixed plastic waste which is depolymerized back to their monomers. 

The plastics generated over this way can be ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) certified and used to make new products. Another advantage is that you have virgin plastic quality and can use such polymers for engineering and high performance applications. 

Examples of the mass balance approach with plastics

A comparison of the renewable PC-Copolymer Elcrin HPX4B with the Lexan HPX4 PC-Copolymer shows that there is a 43% CO2 reduction achieved by using bio-based feedstock (IPCC Co2 equivalent analysis; LCA based on ISO 14040). 

Another example is the Bornewables™ polyolefin portfolio which allows to reduce the reliance on fossil-based feedstock by at least 73%.

In case you need support during polymer material selection to also consider ISCC certified materials, please feel free to reach out to me

More posts on the topic can be found here: 

Thanks for reading and #findoutaboutplastics


Herwig Juster

Interested to talk with me about your polymer material selection, sustainability, and part design needs - here you can contact me 

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