What are “biomass balance” materials?

A lot of plastic products are today made from fossil fuels. Well, in fact, nearly all of them. It is not that simple to replace them. But we are working on it...

What are “biomass balance” materials?

Many industries are currently researching technologies to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Among these avenues, are “biomass balance” materials… What are they? How does it work? Are they really that useful? This way for more explanations

What is biomass balance for?

And the reason we are telling you about it

Profoundly changing how an industry operates is a big deal. It takes time, and it is expensive. In short, it is not easy to win over certain people and convert to being fossil fuel free. It might even be possible today to run industrial equipment exclusively with alternative raw materials (the volumes are too small to meet demand). This is where the biomass balance material concept comes into it. Interesting.

By letting suppliers join in a transition process, we are contributing to reducing the use of fossil fuels, even if it is little by little.
The purpose is to also get it integrated into existing production lines, accelerating implementation of this production method without building new factories… The cherry on the cake: the material's resulting properties remain the same.
In some cases, it might lead to upcycling waste. We will tell you more about this afterwards.

How does it work?

It indeed looks complicated, but when it comes down to it, it is fairly logical.

The raw materials that come from biomass are mixed with fossil raw materials in the production process: we can no longer identify the original organic molecules. But they are still there!
The result is a “biobased” material in line with the principle of mass balance (the mass balance approach is an application of conservation of mass, widely used in industry.

For materials containing biomass balance resins, along with others, DECATHLON will ensure perfect traceability in its production lines. Moreover, the resin is certified by the RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials) organisation responsible for ensuring sustainable development claims are true.

A similar principle to that of “green energy”

For those of us who have already heard about the principle of “green energy”, the idea is similar: most of the time, people who sign up cannot be sure that the energy they are supplied, actually, comes directly from a renewable source. They nevertheless buy into the guarantee that their energy consumption amount will be injected into the “renewable version” of the network.
The point is to increase demand, and in this case green energy.

In the case of biomass balance, we buy the guarantee that the amount of bio naphtha required to produce plastic was purchased and used by the certified supplier.
In this instance, it amounts to finding a means of taking action to reduce demand for fossil fuel in industries (and replace it, ideally, with waste coming from other industries).
It is then an independent organisation's responsibility to check the allocation.

And what about decathlon ?

We are in the process of working on these alternative solutions. Our goal: be in a position to offer boots or small wellies (for horse riding or for outdoor country activities) made from this type of material starting from 2023.

What are “biomass balance” materials?

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