DIC partners with Idemitsu on biomass polystyrene production
Actual production of biomass polystyrene, at DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant, is scheduled to commence by the second half of the fiscal year 2023
- By ICN Bureau
| March 11, 2023
DIC Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., to build a new biomass plastics supply chain, as well as to begin exploring the production of biomass polystyrene. Actual production of biomass polystyrene, at DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant, is scheduled to commence by the second half of the fiscal year 2023.
In recent years, climate change—a key cause of which is CO2 emissions—has been identified as an increasingly critical global challenge and as a crucial social imperative. In Japan, initiatives aimed at achieving resource circulation and carbon neutrality are accelerating. Recent developments include the enforcement of the new Plastic Resource Circulation Act and the implementation of various adjustments in advance of the launch of a carbon pricing system, scheduled for some time in the 2030s. Both DIC and Idemitsu Kosan recognize stepping up efforts to address climate change and advancing the sustainable, circular use of resources as key management responsibilities, prompting the decision to explore the production of low–environmental impact polystyrene made with biomass naphtha–based styrene monomer.
Because it is derived from plant matter, a renewable resource, biomass naphtha boasts lower CO2 emissions than conventional petroleum-derived naphtha. Idemitsu Kosan’s biomass naphtha–based styrene monomer has earned ISCC PLUS certification under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system, verifying its sustainability, in line with which the company employs the mass balance approach for the products its supplies. DIC also expects to obtain ISCC PLUS certification in the first half of the fiscal year 2023, positioning the two companies to begin the production of biomass polystyrene as scheduled.
Biomass plastics supply chains require stronger partnerships at all stages—from production of raw material biomass naphtha through to the production of biomass polystyrene—than those for conventional products. DIC and Idemitsu Kosan have agreed on a basic policy of contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the plastics industry for the new supply chain they will build. Through this partnership, the two companies will continue to strengthen their cooperation with customers and suppliers, to ensure the new supply chain’s carbon neutrality and contribute to a circular economy.