MO.2.B || Decarbonized Mobility Along the Value Chain

Schenk, Karolin; Bechtle, Miriam; Himmelreich, Birgit

Covestro materials, like polycarbonate, enrich people’s daily lives and make the world a brighter place. Covestro is deeply committed to creating durable and resource-saving plastic material solutions for the car industry, as well as exploiting new raw materials from alternative sources wherever possible. The mass balance approach offers the possibility to contribute to the circular economy and to climate protection by facilitating to feed existing world scale plants with fossil and bio-based or recycled feedstocks simultaneously. The resulting product consists of both fossil and biobased/recycled content. On a conceptual level, the renewable input material can be attributed to a certain amount of output product according to yield and production losses. Covestro achieved a mass balance certification for several production sites by developing a new approach for attributing bio-based/recycled raw materials in the value chain to the product of a multistep chemical production processes. To confirm the environmental benefit of such products, the environmental impacts of polycarbonate with mass balanced bio-circular raw materials were assessed and compared to the environmental impacts of virgin polycarbonate. A cradle to gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was conducted aligned with ISO 14040/14044 which includes a review by an independent LCA expert. The use of mass balanced bio-circular raw materials has the potential to significantly reduce the global warming potential and the abiotic depletion potential – fossil of polycarbonate products compared to fossil resources. Furthermore, a combination of mass balanced bio-circular raw materials and the use of renewable electricity in the corresponding production processes can lead to polycarbonate products with a CO2 footprint of near zero. The mass balance approach supports the transition to a circular system where the existing industry value chain can be used and more sustainable products can be manufactured.