Trinseo and BASF have launched a new cooperation project, the production of styrene based on circular feedstock. Trinseo has recently been procuring first supplies of the synthetical chemical styrene based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tires manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers have already processed the material.
There are two types of styrene BASF can produce with a mass balance approach:
- renewable feedstock based-styrene
- styrene based on chemically recycled feedstock.
Mass balance is a chain of custody model designed to keep track of the total amount of input (e. g. circular feedstock) throughout the production cycle and ensure an appropriate allocation to the finished goods. Both of these alternative feedstocks replace a certain amount of virgin fossil resources at the beginning of the value chain – leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions.
To produce BMB styrene, BASF replaces fossil resources like naphtha or natural gas by renewable feedstocks derived from organic waste or vegetable oils. When manufacturing Ccycled products, BASF uses pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically, e.g., mixed household waste or end-of-life tires, as a feedstock, thus contributing to plastics circularity.
With this approach Trinseo and BASF aim to offer products with a better environmental profile and the same properties as those manufactured from fossil feedstock. The allocation process via the mass balance approach as well as the products are certified by an independent auditor.