The Japanese companies DIC Corporation and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. have joined forces to set up a new value chain for the production of biomass-based polystyrene. If all goes according to plan, actual production will commence at DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant by the second half of fiscal 2023.
The companies came together, spurred by various developments in the Japan. Like countries everywhere, Japan is seeking to address climate change, which it sees as a ‘crucial social imperative’, say the companies. Initiatives to promote resource circulation and carbon neutrality, such as the enforcement of the new Plastic Resource Circulation Act and a number of preparatory measures in advance of the launch of a carbon pricing system, scheduled - to be launched in the 2030 - are on the rise. The decision to explore the production of polystyrene made with biomass naphtha–based styrene monomer fits within these efforts.
Naphtha derived from plant matter has a reduced CO2 footprint compared to its petroleum-based counterpart.
The bionaphtha–based styrene monomer produced by Idemitsu Kosan has earned ISCC Plus certification allowing it to use the mass balance approach for the products it supplies. This approach refers to a process by which inputs and outputs, and associated information, are transferred, monitored and controlled as they move through the relevant supply chain, and is known as a chain of custody model.
DIC also expects to obtain ISCC PLUS certification in the first half of fiscal 2023, setting the stage for the two companies to begin the production of biomass polystyrene on schedule.