Specialty chemicals company Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com) today announced that it has joined the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI). The aim of the RCI is to support and accelerate the transition from the use of fossil carbon to the use of renewable carbon in the chemical industry. Switching to renewable carbon sources prevents additional fossil carbon entering the atmosphere and thus addresses a core problem of climate change.
“I am convinced that the chemical industry plays a central role in tackling climate challenge and in shaping progress toward a more circular and bio-based economy. This journey can only be achieved through strong commitment to sustainability-driven innovation, ambitious goals, and a close collaboration with partners along the value chain,” said Conrad Keijzer, Chief Executive Officer of Clariant.
More than 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions can directly be related to additional fossil carbon that is extracted from the ground.1 While complete decarbonization may be a feasible option for some sectors, organic chemistry will always depend on carbon since it is integral for the creation of chemicals and materials that are essential in almost all industries. The most promising solution is to reuse carbon already found in materials or in the atmosphere. That is why Clariant will join the RCI in propagating the use of viable alternative carbon sources, such as biomass, CO2 and recycling streams. Only an accelerated shift to low carbon raw materials will help to prevent a further increase in atmospheric CO2 that, due to it being a driving force in climate change, also presents one of the largest inherent threats to biodiversity on earth.
“Along with ambitious, science-based climate targets and transparent methods of tracking progress, Clariant has prioritized sustainability-driven innovation,” Richard Haldimann, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer at Clariant. “The switch to renewable raw materials, a sustainable bioeconomy and integrating circular economy principles are the pillars of our commitment. We continue to make great progress. Clariant has already developed technology for the creation and implementation of renewable carbon in many business areas.”
Clariant offers a range of bio-based solutions. Its recently launched Vita range of bio-based surfactants offer a 100% Renewable Carbon Index score coming from a fully segregated supply chain, providing a viable alternative to their fossil-based counterparts. Another example are Glucamides- these surfactants are readily biodegradable and have a Renewable Carbon Index score of up to 96%. The company’s Licocare® RBW Vita range, used in plastics and coatings applications, are derived from a natural, non-food competing by-product of the rice oil production and are based on at least 98% Renewable Carbon Index content. Another innovative solution that Clariant offers is the sunliquid®technology, which enables the valorization of agricultural residues for the production of cellulosic ethanol, an advanced biofuel that can be used as a drop-in solution for fuel blending and offers further downstream application opportunities into bio-based chemicals and sustainable aviation fuel. The bioethanol produced by the sunliquid® technology process helps decarbonize the transport sector by providing up to 96% CO2 savings compared to fossil fuel, and by as much as 120% if carbon sequestration is considered and used as part of the production process.
The membership in the RCI allows Clariant to expand on its own solutions in the field of renewable carbon as well as collaborate more closely with partners, suppliers and the industry at large in driving this matter forward. The RCI was launched in September 2020 and is led by the nova-Institute. Members include companies from start-ups to large enterprises as well as additional partners. The initiative aims to advance the switch from fossil carbon to renewable carbon in the chemical industry by reporting on the topic, initiating further action and facilitating exchange between key stakeholders.