Late 2019, Sabic introduced a portfolio of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resins under the brand name LNP Elcrin iQ materials. Produced from post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles, the new materials have prevented over 100 million single-use 16.9 oz. (50 cl) PET water bottles from entering landfills or being burnt in incinerators.
The bottles undergo a chemical upcycling process which, using chemical processes to depolymerize PET bottles and other PET waste into their precursor chemicals, yields the feedstock from which Sabic then produces a range of PBT grades, including glass- and mineral-reinforced products and non-halogenated flame-retardant formulations. LNP Elcrin iQ resins are targeted at a broad array of applications, including consumer electronic enclosures and components, automotive exterior parts, healthcare applications and personal care products.
Comparisons between virgin PBT and LNP Elcrin iQ resin bear out the improved sustainability of the new materials. The results of a recently completed LCA, which underwent third-party critical review in accordance with ISO 14040/14044 standards, indicated that LNP Elecrin iQ resin lowered global warming impact by 29 percent and cut cumulative energy demand by 43 percent compared to virgin PBT.
Moreover, comparisons with data on other virgin base resins - extracted from Plastics Europe Eco-Profiles - pointed in the same direction. The PBT resins also showed favourable LCA results compared to, for example, polyamide (PA) 6,6 and PA6
To provide independent verification of recycled content and responsible sourcing practices, Sabic called on SCS Global Services (SCS), a leader in third-party environmental, sustainability, food safety and quality certifications, to audit the processes used to source and manufacture its LNP Elcrin iQ resins.
“Not only do our resins deliver independently verified sustainability benefits, but they can serve as a drop-in replacement for virgin PBT to help manufacturers increase the sustainability of end products,” said Joshua Chiaw, Director, Business Management, LNP & Noryl, Sabic.
“Sabic is focused on helping customers achieve their sustainability goals by providing plastic materials that support circularity without sacrificing the mechanical performance, chemical resistance or colourability required for the end-use product,” said Maureen MacDonald-Stein, Director, Growth OEM & Markets, Sabic.
“The manufacturing processes for our LNP Elcrin iQ resins have been audited for adherence to the SCS Recycled Content Standard and the supply chain has been audited for responsible sourcing including social, environmental health and safety requirements, enabling customers to quantify the contribution of our materials to their sustainability targets.” Audits and certifications increase customer confidence in these upcycled resins, she added.
The certificates are posted on the SCS Certified Green Products Guide.