Friday 2 June 2023

Virgin vs. recycled glass-fiber PPS: How much can the carbon footprint be lowered?

Hello and welcome to a new post. Today’s post deals with the question of how much the carbon footprint of 40 wt% glass-fiber reinforced PPS can be lowered. Using a low carbon footprint polymer may be on your requirement list for material selection and thus we have a brief look at this topic. 

Several options to decrease Global Warming Potential of thermoplastics

There are more than one way to lower the carbon footprint of a polymer. For instance, one can use a base resin which has a lower carbon footprint by its manufacturing process. As an example, Polyketone is mentioned, which has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 3.08  kg CO2 eq, whereas Polyamide 6 has a GWP of 6.70 kg CO2 eq. Another way is to use recycled fillers such as recycled glass- and carbon fibres. Also, using natural feedstock for monomers and applying a mass balance approach is another great option and widely used already among engineering and more and more with high performance polymers too. 

Example standard 40 wt% glass-fibre reinforced PPS

Speaking of high performance polymers, Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) is often used for applications in high temperature, stringent chemical environments and often I receive the question how much the carbon footprint can be lowered of a standard 40 wt% glass-fiber reinforced PPS? 

I have already some experience with recycled PPS usage (my regrind Rule of Thumb post) and I searched for some data on this interesting question. Starting from 5.43 kg CO2 eq of a standard PPS-GF40 grade, carbon footprint could be lowered to 3.01 Kg CO2 eq, reducing the greenhouse emissions by about 2.42 kg CO2 eq (Table 1). The calculation are based on the ISO 14067 standard. The low carbon footprint PPS uses 50 wt-% post industrial recyclates to achieve such a reduction. 

Table 1: Reduction of the carbon footpring of PPS by using recycled material [1]. 

Update: recently I came across a 40 wt% glass-fiber reinforced PPS which has 0.619 kg CO2 eq which uses recycled PPS to lower the carbon footprint [3].

More on the topic can be found here (eco-profiles of polymers)

Thanks for reading and #findoutaboutplastics



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  1. Thank you for the post. I'd like to know what formula the GWF of PPS according to wt% is based on. I look forward to your quick response. Thank you

  2. Hi Changkyu-Cho, thank you for your interest and question! Yes, it is based on the ISO 14067:2018 Greenhouse gases
    Carbon footprint of products Requirements and guidelines for quantification.
    Hope that helps - pls. let me know if there are further questions. thanks and best regards, Herwig

    1. Thank you for your reply. Despite reviewing the docement, I couldn't find any relevant equations or formulas in the document.
      Could you provide the equation or formula "Example standard 40 wt% glass-fibre reinforced PPS" for the derived result?
      Your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
      Thank you