The Life Cycle Assessment of its Green Plastic

 

  • The life cycle assessment of the green plastic indicated that Braskem's biopolymer made from ethanol removes 3,09 kilograms of CO2 from the air with each kilogram produced. The product's negative footprint also reflects the characteristics of Brazil's sugarcane and ethanol industry. Often planted on degraded pasture land, sugarcane helps recover the soil. Moreover, sugarcane bagasse, a waste product of the crushing process, is used for electricity cogeneration to supply the ethanol production unit, making the production process energy self-sufficient. The surplus electricity is sent to the power grid, which contributes to a clean and effective energy matrix. 80% percent of the energy consumed in the green polyethylene production process comes from renewable resources.

  • With continental dimensions, Brazil enjoys a favorable scenario for developing biopolymers. The country not only is a pioneer in the research and development of biofuels, but also has the world's largest river basin, intense solar irradiation and a diversified climate.

  • 90% of sugarcane cultivation and harvesting in Brazil is concentrated in the country's Center-South region, which is located more than 2,500 km from the Amazon region. The expansion in the sugarcane planted area is regulated by the Sugarcane Agro-ecological Zoning Policy, a regulatory framework implemented in 2009 by the federal government that prohibits planting in high-biodiversity areas.

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a technique for analyzing the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product that considers the stages from the extraction of the raw materials from nature that are input into the production system to the manufacturing of the final product. The assessment enables Braskem and its clients to gain a better understanding of the environmental impacts of their products over all lifecycle phases.

  • To conduct the LCA, Braskem engaged the British consulting firms E4tech and LCAworks, which specialize in conducting life cycle assessments for the sustainable energy and materials industries. The analysis also engaged suppliers and process engineers to collect the primary data in accordance with the guidelines of the standard ABNT ISO14040 and included an external review of the results in which three international experts participated.