Consumer electronics are always moving forward. In their fiercely competitive markets, manufacturers constantly explore ways to make devices that are lighter, stronger and slimmer yet still offer high levels of safety and performance.
Today, they have an additional challenge: how to create the next generation of devices while also meeting demanding sustainability targets. Many manufacturers have net-zero carbon emission goals that require them to review every aspect of their complex supply chains. And consumers increasingly seek out products and services with strong environmental credentials.
Often made from fossil or mineral sources that have a high carbon or energy cost, materials form a major part of any device’s environmental impact. Bio-based materials can shrink this footprint because they are made from carbon-neutral feedstocks. However, they have not always performed as well as their fossil-based equivalents.
New advances in material technology mean that for the first time, bio-based polymers can offer the same performance as traditional materials, as well as a sustainability advantage. SABIC’s new bio-based polycarbonate (PC) copolymers are made with 50% bio-based content yet still offer the same temperature resistance, mechanical performance, processability and flame retardance as polymers made from fossil feedstocks. As there is 100% drop-in versus the fossil oil-based incumbent material, there is no need for re-validation or re-specification with customers.
And because SABIC’s bio-based material is derived from wastes or residues, there’s no competition with the food chain. Our bio-based compounds use waste vegetable oil and oils from the wood processing industry. Internal assessments for SABIC’s LNP ELCRIN EXL7414B copolymer indicate that each kilogram of the new bio-based resin provides two kilograms of CO2 reduction compared to the fossil-based alternative. This material is the first to secure the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC+) designation.
With bio-based polymers, manufacturers’ need for constant innovation can be aligned with their sustainability goals.