Isopa: Updated environmental performance data for the main building blocks of polyurethanes
The European diisocyanate and polyol producers association Isopa has updated the environmental performance data for polyols and diisocyantes (TDI/MDI) using the established and widely applied PlasticsEurope ‘Eco-Profiles’ methodology. The new data allows polyols and diisocyantes users to make up-to-date estimates of the environmental performance of their products as a part of the full life-cycle assessment (LCA). Isopa said the updated Eco-Profiles underline its strong commitment to encouraging environmental improvements in production and to support companies in producing sustainable polyurethane products.
According to the association, the Eco-Profiles have been updated using state-of-the-art methods consistent with the industry standards, covering:
- Long and short-chain polyether polyols for polyurethane products, and
- Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI)
The reports include environmental performance parameters, as well as additional technical, economic and environmental and health information. Together with the Eco-Profile update, Isopa is also providing the life cycle inventories in International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) and Gabi formats to allow LCA practitioners to include updated data in their LCA software tools and databases. As such these new data cannot be compared with previous versions since Isopa membership changed, and so did the industry mix. In addition, and to align and harmonise the approach within the plastics industry value chains, special attention had to be paid to the allocation of burdens between MDI or TDI and its co-product hydrogen chloride (HCl). Indeed, the pure mass allocation used in the previous study leads to a significantly high burden on HCl, which is only a co-product. The economic allocation did not reflect the reality either since the process is designed to also enable the co-production of HCL to a desired, ready to use, industry specification. Therefore, a combined elemental and mass allocation approach was considered, better reflecting the reality of the processes involved and a fair allocation of the burdens, said Isopa.
The new Eco-Profile reports are available for download on Isopa’s and PlasticsEurope’s websites and the plan is to review the data every five years.