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Sustainable Development: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Manufacture of Bio-Based Epoxy Resins and Reactive Diluents

The use of bio-based raw materials in production processes plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the MOVE-TO-GREEN strategy, LEUNA-Harze GmbH commissioned the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (Ifeu) to carry out a greenhouse gas balance (Life-Cycle Assessment) of selected epoxy resins and reactive diluents according to the LCA standards DIN EN ISO 14040/14044. The study includes a thorough evaluation of the life cycle of epoxy resins and reactive diluents from the production of the raw materials used to the factory gate of LEUNA-Harze GmbH (cradle-to-gate approach).

Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions through the Use of Bio-Based Epichlorohydrin

During the manufacture of epoxy resins and reactive diluents, the use of self-produced bio-based epichlorohydrin consistently leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions during the production process.

Key to this is the establishment of the production of bio-based epichlorohydrin based on glycerin with upstream chlor-alkali electrolysis and hydrochloric acid synthesis at the LEUNA-Harze GmbH site. This concept not only enables the production of bio-based epoxy resins and reactive diluents but also access to the necessary raw materials caustic soda and hydrochloric acid. Using these components results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacture of epoxy resins and reactive diluents. Furthermore, the epoxy resins and reactive diluents produced in this manner contain a bio-based carbon fraction in the final product.

Additionally, there was a comparatively low CO2 emission during the production of fossil-based Epilox® products, primarily due to the continuous plant and technology optimization of LEUNA-Harze GmbH.

Future Use of Renewable Energies in Production

To further optimize the greenhouse gas balance, plans to integrate renewable energies into the production processes of LEUNA-Harze GmbH are to be implemented by 2035 at the latest. The production of all self-produced raw materials, epoxy resins, and reactive diluents at the site is intended to be realized exclusively using wind and solar energy.

For questions and further information about bio-based products and the LIFE-Cycle Assessment, please contact the application technology of LEUNA-Harze GmbH.