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Determination of the biobased share

Biobased carbon content

AKRO-PLASTIC offers a series of compounds with (partly) biobased polymers.

For the determination of the biobased content, there are different possibilities, among others.

  • Biobased content, based on the amount of biomass in the product.
  • Biobased Carbon Content (BCC), based on the amount of biogenic carbon ("green carbon").

Both methods have their pros and cons. In particular, the determination of the biobased content requires comprehensive knowledge of the composition of all components, including all precursors and processes. Easier and independently verifiable is the determination of the BCC, which is why we have chosen this approach.

The BCC is usually measured using the radiocarbon method (C14 method) according to EN 16640. The values we report are calculated based on the standard. For the biobased polymers, we use the BCC measured according to the standard. Qualified assumptions are made for the carbon content (C-content) of the fossil components. An example calculation is shown below.

Biobased carbon content (BCC) = 20.30 kg / 49.75 kg • 100 % = 40.65 % =  40 % (rounded).

It can be seen in this example calculation that the glass fiber has no influence on the BCC. The reason for this is that the glass fiber does not contain any carbon. However, it is often the biobased fraction relative to the total mass of the compound that is of interest. This can be calculated as follows: 

Biobased carbon content by mass (BCC mass)

BCC mass = BCC • organic content of compound = 40.65 % • 70 % = 28.46 = 28 % (rounded).

ISCC PLUS and REDcert² sustainability certifications

Allocation factor for mass-balanced products

The value-added process of products in the chemical industry is often very complex. In order to be able to track the sustainable material flow in a simple way, the mass balance approach is used.

The allocation factor shows how much biomass and/or recycled material is allocated to the certified product. The allocation factor indicates the proportion of fossil resources that have been replaced by biomass and/or recyclate in the value chain of the material. It is given as a percentage (max. 100 %) and refers to the organic share of the product. The correctness of the allocation is confirmed by ISCC PLUS or REDcert² certification.

The principle behind this is the same as for green electricity: the consumer does not know whether the electricity from his socket is generated directly from renewable energies, but the electricity provider is obliged to feed the corresponding amount into the overall electricity grid. Overall, the amount of green electricity thus increases. In the chemical industry, the use of biomass or recycled material increases accordingly. The following graphic illustrates the mass balance approach. 

For ISCC PLUS and REDcert² certified products, our customers receive a product certificate with specific sustainability information for each delivery, a so-called Sustainability Declaration. The Sustainability Declaration includes the allocation factor, among other things.

We calculate the allocation factor based on heat values. Raw materials with higher heat values tend to cause more greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at the end of product life (waste incineration), so the GHG are indirectly taken into account in the accounting. The heat values are measured according to DIN 51900-2.

Since the allocation factor of the compound refers only to the organic components, inorganic components such as glass fibers are included in the calculation with a calorific value of 0 MJ/kg.

Often, the mass-balanced share in relation to the total mass of the compound is also of interest. Therefore, in addition to the allocation factor, we show how much certified biomass or recyclate the customer receives in tons per delivery on the product certificates.

Disclaimer: All specifications and information given on this website are based on our current knowledge and experience. A legally binding promise of certain characteristics or suitability for a concrete individual case cannot be derived from this information. The information supplied here is not intended to release processors and users from the responsibility of carrying out their own tests and inspections in each concrete individual case. AKRO®, AKROMID®, AKROLEN®, AKROLOY®, AKROTEK®, ICX®, PRECITE® and DIA(hr)LOG® are registered trademarks of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH.

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