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How much land and how many raw materials do we need for bio-based plastics?
by Dr. Lisa Mundzeck
Interactive plastics calculation tool online available
(Hanover, 01.07.2022) How much water, raw material and land is consumed for one tonne of plastic? Detailed calculations of resource consumption for the production of various biobased plastics: this is what the new interactive tool BioPolyDat of the IfBB at the Hochschule Hannover - University of Applied Sciences and Arts offers at: https://biopolydat.ifbb-hannover.de.
The data basis for bioplastics is still insufficient for users or often not available in a compact form. This is where the calculation tool comes in and provides information on the most important groups of bioplastics currently on the market as well as a selection of petrochemical plastics.
The focus of the new tool is on calculating the land use and raw material requirements of various (bio-based) plastics. 24 different types of plastics can be selected, both bio-based and fossil-based, for each of which extensive detailed information is available on their properties, production and application.
In order to calculate the resource requirement for e.g. one tonne of a certain material, various parameters such as the raw material, the crop and the reference region can be selected. The result provides precise information on resource requirements (amount of raw material and crop), land use requirements in hectares and water requirements in cubic metres. The calculator also allows a comparison of different types of plastics.
In addition, 40 process routes, i.e. the concrete chemical production path of the different plastics, can be called up.
The tool also contains extensive information on sustainability aspects of (bio-based) plastics and global production capacities of commercially available bioplastics as well as other data on the current bioplastics market.
The BioPolyDat calculation tool was developed by the IfBB as part of the project "Establishment of an interactive online calculation tool for land use and raw material requirements of bio-based plastics as well as provision of further comparative information on resource requirements (biopolymer platform)", which was funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and supported by the Agency of Renewable Resources (FNR).