Environment2018-10-17T07:35:10+00:00

GOLDEN COMPOUND fiber composites

GOLDEN COMPOUND fiber composites are plastic composites reinforced with fibers of sunflower seed hulls. Below you will find detailed information on the environmental performance of our compounds, in particular GOLDEN COMPOUND pro.

Sunflower seed hulls for the production of natural fiber composites

GOLDEN COMPOUND uses sunflower seed hulls – a by-product of sunflower seed production – as bio-based fiber additives for the production of high-quality natural fiber composites.

Umwelteigenschaften von GOLDEN COMPOUND

  • 100% bio-based
  • carbon sequestration
  • no use of food
  • no competition with the food chain
  • no additional acreage required

Life Cycle Assessment

A Life Cycle Assessment is a useful tool for assessing the environmental impact of GOLDEN COMPOUND. The balance sheet lists the entire resource requirements and all emissions on the way to the completed product, that means from the original product (raw material) to ready-to-use granulate on leaving our plant. The LCA includes in our case fibers of sunflower seed hulls, the polymer matrix and our manufacturing process. The Life Cycle Assessment of the sunflower seed hulls takes into account resource requirements and emissions from the sunflower cultivation, such as water consumption for sunflower growth, CO2 capture of the plants and solar energy, but also energy used to produce the fertilizer. The industrial data for polymers are published by Plastics Europe.

As a young company, still at an early stage of product development, we are currently in the process of creating our Life Cycle assessment. Until this is the case, it is important for us to share the following considerations with you.

CO2 balance

The most important indicators environmental performance of a product are greenhouse gas emissions – the CO2 balance – and the use of renewable energies. Sunflowers need CO2 for their growth, making sunflowers a natural carbon dioxide storage. The CO2 binding of the fibers of the sunflower seed hulls actually gives the fibers a negative value for greenhouse gas emissions. Preliminary calculations show that our formulations with 35 wt.-% have a 25-30% lower carbon footprint than pure polypropylene in a polymer matrix.

Certification of bio-based shares

A further feature for characterizing the environmental impact of GOLDEN COMPOUND products is the indication of their bio-based components. These are listed differently and may sometimes require explanation because the reference value is not always recognized immediately.

Renewable shares refer to the percentage by weight of the renewable part of the total formulation. This is 35% for our 35% by weight containing formulation – GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO.

The total carbon content refers to the classification of chemical molecular structure used in the scientific context. Naturally grown materials as well as mineral oil-based polymers have organic carbon content. Our formulations with 35% by weight sunflower fibers have 74% organic carbon content. The remaining atoms are oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and other elements in small quantities.

The renewable carbon content or biogenic carbon content is based on the C14/C12 analysis and measures effectively which part of the carbon is renewable and which is based on mineral oil. The tests are carried out according to the standard test methods D6488 of the ASTM for the determination of the bio-based content in solid, liquid and gaseous samples by means of radiocarbon analysis. The total carbon content of the fibers of our sunflower seed hulls is about 65%, with the remainder being oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen.

Thus, GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO consists of 35% by weight of natural raw materials.

However, the biogenic carbon content of the Compound is less than 35%, as the sunflower seed hulls has a smaller ratio of carbon to other elements than polypropylene.

GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO received the quality seal “OK Biobased” from Vinçotte under the number B15-306-A. This represents a bio-based carbon content of 20-40%.

Recyclability

The recyclability of GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO was evaluated by the Kunststoffinstitut Lüdenscheid. Parts were produced by injection moulding and then ground. Parts were again processed by injection moulding from 100% regrind. This process was repeated five times without adding any new product. The results are listed in the diagram on the right.

The modulus of elasticity showed a reduction of 6,4% after five cycles. The impact test showed a reduction of 5,8% after five cycles and a tear strength reduction of 4%. Based on these test results, it can be concluded that the GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO can be recycled up to five times without significant loss of its properties.

Marking of plastic parts

Component identification is important for material identification for decisions referring subsequent recycling, reuse or disposal. The proposed abbreviations are in accordance with standards ISO 11469:2000 plastics – species identification and labeling of plastic molded components and ISO 1043:2011-1 bis ISO 1043:2011-4 plastics-symbols and abbreviated terms.

The following codes are proposed for the different materials: For our standard formulation GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO with 35% sunflower fibers, the following code is suggested:

PP-NG35

For our impact-modified version GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO 10V34 or similar

with 35% sunflower fibers:

(PP+POE)-NG35

For our glass fiber modified version GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO GF20:

PP-(NG35+GF20)

Resin identification code

The resin identification codes (RIC) were originally developed in the USA by the “Society of Plastic Industry” (SPI) for the recycling of plastic packaging in communities. The main focus was on the dominant polymers used in plastic packaging. Later, the RICs were converted to the ASTM standard.

Our RIC recommendation complies with ASTM standard 7611: Standard procedure for labelling plastic items for synthetic resin identification. Please note that according to D7611 this sign is following marked by a thick isosceles triangle around the number and no longer by consecutive arrows.

Ecotoxicity

Our GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO was tested by the OWS in Gent, Belgium, according to the guideline OECD 208 (short-term test on higher plants: growth inhibition test for germination and young plants). The test results showed that GOLDEN COMPOUND pro 3545 BO does not cause any ecotoxicity. The picture below shows the growth of cress during the test.

100%  renewable energies

We use 100% certified renewable energy according to the WaterGreen+ -concept in our manufacturing facilities and offices. Not only the energy is 100% generated from renewable resources: At least one third of the power plants are not older than 12 years, which provides an additional incentive to invest in newer and more efficient power plants for renewable resources. WaterGreen+ has been awarded with the  ok-power seal of quality by the independent association EnergyVision e.V..

EPEAT

The EPEAT- environmental protection certificate (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) is an initiative of the environmental organization Green Electronics Council (GET). The three EPEAT classes are based on the environmental assessment standards of the standard series IEEE 1680. These include the “collective standard” and the three associated product standards 1680.1, 1680.2 and 1680.3, which contain specific criteria for “computers and monitors”, “imaging devices” and “televisions”.

In all three product standards, GOLDEN COMPOUND materials are given an additional point in the evaluation of material selection due to their bio-based content. Two more points can be obtained by using versions of our products that contain recycled material.

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