ECN publishes report on European Pre-Standard for Biobased Carbon Content

Thursday October 1, 2015 09:10

To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, Europe intends to transition to a biobased economy. The vision is to replace fossil feedstock for energy and products with biobased alternatives. And indeed, a growing number of products that is fully or partly biobased (such as bioplastics) enters the market.

This trend makes it ever more relevant to accurately distinguish between fossil-based products and biobased alternatives. In the KBBPPS project, a method has been developed to determine the biobased carbon content of product. Following this method, laboratory analysis can determine the percentage of biobased content in a product.

The basis for the method is radiocarbon dating, the same technique as is used to determine the age of archaeological artifacts. Fossil carbon atoms are much older than their biobased counterparts. Using radiocarbon dating, the numbers of fossil and biobased carbon atoms are counted to determine the percentage of biobased content.

In the KBBPPS consortium, ECN heads the development of the biobased carbon content determination method. The method now has the status of a pre-standard. Interlaboratory tests have now been started to determine the reliability of the method. Once these have been completed, the method will be published as an official European standard.

You can read more in our report:
Knowledge Based Bio-based Products’ Pre-Standardization Public report on horizontal standard for bio-based carbon content determination

Category: Corporate, Environment, Engineering & materials