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BASF, Mercedes, Pyrum and WITTE produce automotive components from mass-balanced plastics

BASF, Mercedes-Benz, Pyrum Innovations AG and WITTE Automotive successfully closed a material cycle to produce automotive components from mass-balanced plastics. Pyrolysis oil from scrap tires and biomethane from organic waste can replace fossil raw materials in manufacturing plastics with virgin material properties.

To produce the plastic for the bow door handle for selected Mercedes-Benz models, BASF combined alternative raw materials in a mass balance approach: pyrolysis oil generated at Pyrum Innovations AG from scrap tires and biomethane from agricultural waste and food industry residues. The resulting plastic, in this case, the Ultramid polyamide 6 with 30% glass fiber reinforcement, features the same properties as prime quality plastic making it suited for demanding vehicle components.

In line with an efficient circular economy, mass-balanced products will be used for bow door handles for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the EQE this year.

An independent certification following the REDcert scheme, verifies the quantities of pyrolysis oil and biomethane required to replace fossil raw materials for the end product. These certified raw materials are fed into BASF’s production network, are mathematically assigned to the plastics through the mass-balance approach and then delivered to the BASF customer WITTE Automotive. The subsequent production of the bow door handles at the automotive supplier is audited externally in the same way based on the REDcert standard.

In addition, the jointly developed solution approach will be transferred to a crash absorber for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. As component of the vehicle’s front end, the crash absorber contributes to an even reduction of forces acting on the other car in a frontal collision. In this case, again, a mass-balanced plastic compound based on pyrolysis oil and biomethane from BASF meets the high-quality requirements of Mercedes-Benz, particularly regarding crash safety.

The BASF ChemCycling project targets plastic waste that is not recycled mechanically for technological, economic or ecological reasons. Together, mechanical and chemical recycling can increase recycling rates and contribute to a stronger circular economy for plastics. Both recycled and bio-based raw materials can replace fossil resources in production and help save CO2 emissions.

Using a mass-balance approach audited by an independent third party, the proportion of recycled and/or biobased raw materials is allocated to products manufactured in the Verbund. These products are independently certified and have the same properties as those based on fossil resources. Customers can process and use them in the same way for demanding applications.


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