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News SABIC launches

News SABIC launches renewable polyolefins BASF presents biobased Ultramid SABIC (headquartered in Saudi Arabia) recently announced that it will launch its first portfolio of certified renewable polyolefins, certified under the ISCC Plus certification scheme, which involves strict traceability and requires a chain of custody based on a mass balance system. The portfolio, which includes renewable polyethylenes (PE) and polypropylenes (PP), responds to the increasing demand for sustainable materials from SABIC’s customers, most notably in the packaging industry, and is applicable for all its polyolefins grades, potentially for all market applications. SABIC is the first petrochemicals company to be able to produce renewable second generation PP & PE. SABIC has a unique position in Europe to be able to crack heavy renewable feedstocks made from waste fats and oils in its assets. SABIC worked closely with the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) organization to prove the sustainability of the new feedstock. Independent third party auditors checked and ensured the reliable use of the mass balance system within SABIC. In addition, SABIC worked closely with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs under a Green Deal, on the concept of ‘sustainability certificates’, with the ultimate objective to encourage the production and use of bio-based polyolefins within the industry. The ISCC Plus certified polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) materials will be produced initially at SABIC’s production facilities at Geleen in the Netherlands. MT BASF now offers high performance Ultramid ® (polyamide), which is derived from renewable raw materials. BASF uses an innovative approach that replaces up to 100% of the fossil resources used at the beginning of the integrated production process with certified biomass. The share of renewable raw materials in the sales product is then indicated in the respective quantity. A third-party certification confirms to customers that BASF has used the required quantities of renewable raw materials which the customer has ordered in the value chain. The resulting Ultramid, which is produced according to the so called mass balance approach, is identical in terms of formulation and quality but associated with lower green house gas emissions and saving of fossil resources. Also, existing plants and technologies along the value chain can continue to be used without changes. “Consumer demand for products made of renewable raw materials continues to rise,” says Joachim Queisser, Senior Vice President of the Polyamides and Precursors Europe regional business unit. “This offering opens excellent possibilities for packaging film manufacturers to market their products accordingly.” MT interpack - review Editor‘s note on these two news What new kind of (tricky ?) new approach is this? Or is it not at all tricky but quite reasonable at the end of the day? The idea is to throw a biobased carbon source (from oil crops or even from used oils and fats) into a cracker, which typically stands at the beginning of a complex chemical site with many outlets and inter-connections. Whilst usually running on fossil oil or gas, now a specific amount of a biomass derived input is fed into it for a while. This biobased content is then allocated to and assigned to a respective output, here an amount of produced renewable plastic. This is completely independent from whether a scientist would detect or not any biobased carbon in the respective product when applying the radio carbon method. At least no one can tell how much biobased content is actually in the end product. The claims however inform about “renewable polyolefin” or a product “Derived from up to 100% renewable feedstock”. It’s all done by calculation. Think about the competitive product, which might be a biobased carbon containing product. Is it OK to call a Mass Balance calculated product renewable polymer? What do you think needs to be the legitimation for such claims? You may be aware about the CEN TC 411 standardisation which is ongoing and which tries to answer such questions through science and broad stakeholder and expert agreements. The whole approach seems like a huge black box: there is (biobased) input on one end and there is assigned biobased plastics as output on the other end. It is comparable to 100% renewable electricity. I do buy 100% renewable electricity, knowing well that the power coming from my outlet is being produced by a nearby coal power station... is this OK? This new approach poses a lot of questions. Let this editor’s note be food for thought and let’s discuss these questions in detail in the upcoming issues of bioplastics MAGAZINE. Michael Thielen 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/14] Vol. 9

News New online platform at Tap into the online resources of the new bioplastics MAGAZINE news platform! On our website we used to have a News-section, that was, however, not well maintained. This is has changed now. A new platform at now offers a new online resource targeted at readers seeking a medium that answers the need for reliable news and informative content with immediate appeal. Visitors will find new news-items every day now. Together with the printed bioplastics MAGAZINE, and the new, biweekly bioplastics MAGAZINE newsletter, it offers a platform for professionals in the industry to reach out to prospective partners, suppliers and customers across the globe. The bioplastics MAGAZINE newsletter reaches a targeted audience of some 7000 international bioplastics professionals across all continents. The platform offers readers up-to-date news and advertisers the power to create integrated campaigns, built on interaction between the different media channels and taking advantage of the different strengths of each. For advertisers, a perfect means to add value to opportunity. Visit (without www) every day to stay up-to-date. Newlight Technologies sprints ahead US telecom giant Sprint takes pride in its reputation for bringing sustainable options to market. The company, just recently announced that it is becoming one of the first to use AirCarbon, a new carbon-negative PHA made from greenhouse gas to create plastic products. The material will be used to produce cell phone cases for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Sprint is the first telecommunications company in the world to launch a carbon-negative product using AirCarbon. AirCarbon is manufactured by California-based sustainable materials producer NewlightTechnologies, using a proprietary carbon capture process to convert air and greenhouse gases (GHGs) into a plastic that has similar durability and performance characteristics to petroleumbased plastics. The conversion technology can synthesize high-performance thermoplastics from a wide range of sources, including methane and/or carbon dioxide from agricultural operations, water treatment plants, landfills, anaerobic digesters, or energy facilities. The PHA material has wide applications, as it can then be formed and moulded into almost any given design. Newlight announced on January 1st of this year that it had achieved successful commercial scale-up of its technology. Today, its commercial site is a four-story operation with a multi-million pound per year nameplate production capacity, using air and captured methane-based carbon emissions from a farm to produce AirCarbon. “AirCarbon offers a new paradigm in which products we use every day, like cellphone cases, become part of the environmental solution,” said Mark Herrema, Newlight Technologies co-founder and CEO. “Newlight’s mission is to replace petroleum-based plastics with greenhouse gasbased plastics on a commodity scale by out-competing on price and performance – harnessing the power of our choices as consumers to make change. We’re thankful for companies like Sprint, which are helping us realize our founding vision of taking greenhouse gases and turning them into commercially useful products that generate both an environmental and economic benefit.” As Herrema pointed out: “We have spent over a decade optimizing our technology. Today, we have a four-story plant capturing carbon that would otherwise go into the air, using that carbon to make products that would otherwise be made from oil. As a result, our efforts have shifted from technology development to commercial expansion.” KL bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/14] Vol. 9 7

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