New Polyamid at Fakuma 2014 Resource Saving: From Biomass to Plastics
BASF presents its first polyamide based on mass balance approach in serial production at Fakuma 2014. The new polymer shall help saving resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions through use of renewable feedstock while possessing all technical properties of conventional ultramid.
Freidrichshafen/Germany – Kunststoffwerk Buchs, a subsidiary of Wiha Werkzeuge, is the first BASF customer to process and use the engineering plastic Ultramid B3EG6 MB for serial production of its Longlife brand of meter rules. The polyamide used is one of the first BASF products to be produced and marketed on the basis of the mass balance approach. The “MB” material is derived from bio-based feedstock and thus helps to save fossil raw materials and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the mass balance approach certified by TÜV SÜD, 100% of the fossil raw materials needed to make Ultramid B3EG6 MB are replaced with renewable raw materials at the beginning of the production process. The abbreviation MB indicates the calculation via the mass balance approach. The certified MB plastic is identical to its fossil counterpart in terms of formulation and quality, and is already available in commercial quantities.
The Mass Balance Approach
The mass balance approach is comparable to feeding “green” electricity into the power grid. It offers a way to utilize renewable raw materials in BASF’s existing system of integrated production known as Verbund. Under the mass balance approach, biomass – for instance, in the form of biogas or bio-naphtha from certified sustainable production – is used as a feedstock in place of fossil resources at the beginning of the value chain and is subsequently allocated to individual products in a defined manner.
A customer who purchases a ton of mass-balanced product can thus rest assured that BASF has used renewable feedstock to replace the corresponding amount of fossil raw materials needed to produce the product. Depending on the customer’s wishes, between 25 % and 100 % of the feedstock needed can be replaced. The benefit for the customer is that the formulation and quality of the product remain identical. TÜV SÜD has issued certificates for BASF products such as superabsorbers, engineering plastics, dispersions and some intermediates. The first shipments of mass-balanced products have already been delivered to BASF customers.