GHG emissions from the polypropylene produced by Borealis as part of the company’s Bornewables product range of polyolefins are at least 120% lower than emissions from comparable virgin polypropylene, according to a recently completed life-cycle assessment.
The study was carried out by ifeu, an independent ecological institute based in Heidelberg, Germany. Ifeu analysed the life cycle emissions of the polypropylene (PP) produced by polyolefin manufacturer Borealis at its production sites in Kallo and Beringen, Belgium using Neste’s renewable feedstock instead of conventional feedstock. The study showed that from cradle to gate - referring to all the steps, from the sourcing of raw materials to the products leaving Borealis’ production site - the partial carbon footprint is reduced by at least 2.7 kg CO2eq./kg polymer, from 2.14 to -0.58 kg CO2eq./kg (3.14 kg biogenic CO2 stored in 1kg PP polymer) – a reduction of 127% compared to PP manufactured with fossil-based feedstock at the same location. PP performance levels were unaffected and the materials could be recycled in the same way.
The Bornewables portfolio was also shown to be a lower-emissions alternative to virgin PP, no matter which end-of-life option is chosen. Even going the energy recovery route, which releases the carbon stored in the product, a reduction in emissions of 52% is seen compared to PP from fossil-based feedstock.
The Bornewables are part of Borealis’ EverMinds platform, an initiative established to accelerate the transition towards a more circular economy. The Bornewables circular portfolio is produced according to the mass balance model, by replacing conventional feedstock with an identical volume made from ISCC PLUS certified sustainable feedstock.
“Now that a LCA has been carried out on the Bornewables, our customers can rely on this portfolio to reduce GHG emissions,” noted Christopher McArdle, Borealis Vice President Polyolefins Strategy & New Business Development. “Life demands progress. As a proven range of circular polyolefins, the Bornewables are … another way in which Borealis is reinventing for more sustainable living.”