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Innovative Process from BASF Allows Flexible Use of Renewable Feedstocks in the Integrated Productio

Published October 17, 2013
BASF, working in cooperation with TÜV SÜD (a third-party certification body), has developed an innovative mass balance approach for the use of renewable feedstocks in the integrated production. The process is available immediately for many products and can be adapted to customers’ requirements. Based on this approach, biomass is used as a feedstock in the manufacturing of basic products in existing plants. This biomass share is then allocated to sales products according to their recipes using the new certified methodology. The quality of the products remains unchanged.

The products mass balanced in this manner save fossil raw materi­als and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby contributing to sustainable development. Up to 100 percent of the fossil raw materials can be replaced in the end product, which can be marketed accordingly. Existing plants and technologies along the value chain can continue to be used, and the customers’ product formulations do not have to be adjusted. Prior to marketing the mass balance approach, experts at BASF and TÜV SÜD discussed the opportunities it offers in detail with customers, associations and other stakeholders.

“The new method enables us to respond rapidly and flexibly to customers’ wishes,” said Dr. Lars Börger, New Business Development in the Performance Materials division. “When selecting the biomass, BASF places great value on safeguarding sustainability aspects.” Thus, bio-naphtha and biogas, for example derived from organic waste, are used for the mass balance approach. As with their petrochemical analogs, they are fed into plants at the beginning of the production process: bio-naphtha into the steam cracker and biogas into the syngas plant. The Dispersions & Pigments division has supplied a large adhesives customer with initial amounts of mass balanced products, dispersions for construction adhesives.

During the cooperation with TÜV SÜD as independent certifier, the mass balance approach and its underlying certification methodology were thoroughly checked. The experts conducted audits in selected BASF plants in Ludwigshafen and became acquainted with the existing product formulations and process steps. They have meanwhile issued certificates for 14 products. These include superabsorbents for diapers, performance polymers for electronic goods and further intermediates.

TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH has many years of experience in the field of energy certification and sustainability certification of bioenergy. Its international recognition and outstanding reputation secure high acceptance of the certificates. From the end of October, the mass balance approach will also be available for use by third parties.

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