Increasing Renewable Content with the Mass Balance Approach

Posted in: feedstocks

Where renewable feedstocks are in short supply, the mass balance approach can still give products with high levels of renewable content.

Bio-based products, in contrast to fossil-based products, are at a disadvantage when it comes to their market uptake. One of the difficulties is that for many producers, making the switch is just not economically viable. Sustainable supply chains need to be built up, but small volumes and comparatively expensive feedstocks can make transitioning uncompetitive and the business risk can be too high.

Establishing new dedicated biorefineries remains challenging due to the substantial capital investment required. Therefore, it seems practical to make use of existing oil refineries to process renewable raw material instead. However, oil refineries operate at scales far beyond the possible supply of renewable raw materials and so integrating renewable raw materials alongside fossil materials in refineries is at least a step towards increasing the scope of the bio-based industries.

Nevertheless, using a relatively small amount of renewable alongside non-renewable raw material will as a result lead to insignificant amounts of renewable content in the vast array of subsequent materials originating from the small selection of initial base chemicals. Creating products without any meaningful proportion of renewable content due to this dilution somewhat eliminates the motivation for incorporating it in the first place.

To read the rest of the article, please click here.

For more information:


This article was written by Polly-Ann Hanson, Research Analyst at NNFCC.

You might also be interested in: