Powering Sustainability with Mass Balance Certified (ISCC) Synthetic Rubber

Introducing Trinseo ISCC mass balance certified synthetic rubber

Trinseo Synthetic Rubber has taken a leading role in providing materials with a more sustainable life cycle for tire and technical rubber goods applications. Our commitment to increase the amount of recycled or bio-sourced feedstock used to produce our product portfolio is a key step in Trinseo’s drive for sustainability in the tire & rubber industry and to help our customers achieve their own sustainability goals.

Trinseo was the first synthetic rubber manufacturer worldwide to receive mass balance certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) for our manufacturing plant in Schkopau, Germany. Mass balance is a system that traces the flow of sustainable feedstock through a complex value chain.

We are also the first synthetic rubber supplier to offer mass balance ISCC certified materials: two of our industry standard solution-styrene butadiene synthetic rubber (S-SBR) grades, which are now available commercially at scale.

Learn more about mass balance at Trinseo by watching the following video:

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Understanding mass balance

The mass balance system is designed to support circular economy initiatives that will reduce negative impacts on natural resources and reduce emissions. ISCC mass balance certification is a well-established, globally recognized standard that certifies the use of sustainable feedstocks.

Using the mass balance approach, the total amount of renewable, bio-sourced or recycled feedstock used throughout the production cycle can be traced and allocated to finished materials. It is therefore a chain of custody model designed to track sustainable content and ensure correct allocation through auditable accounting.

Mass balance is a short-term solution to increased sustainable composition. It allows for the coexistence of traditional and sustainable feedstock, using existing world-scale manufacturing processes. Mass balance is a critical step towards circularity for synthetic rubber and its applications.

By reducing the environmental impact of our products, we help our customers meet their sustainability targets.

Mass Balance Diagram

Mass balance certified synthetic rubber for efficient, safe, and sustainable tires

Building more sustainable tires with mass balance (ISCC) certified synthetic rubber

SPRINTAN™ 3402 and SPRINTAN™ 4602 are innovative, functionalized S-SBR grades used for high performance carbon black or silica tire tread compounds. Trinseo’s SPRINTAN™ SLR 3402 and 4602-Schkopau ISCC Certified are composed primarily of ISCC certified butadiene and ISCC certified styrene. These certified raw materials use bio-circular feedstocks and/or circular technical feedstocks and are also manufactured using a mass balance approach. They are chemically and physically indistinguishable from fossil-based conventional monomers. Therefore, the certified SSBR polymers produced from these attributed monomers are also indistinguishable from conventional polymers.  

Trinseo’s SPRINTAN™ SLR 3402/4602-Schkopau ISCC Certified have the same product properties as their conventional variants, meet the same specifications, and can therefore be considered interchangeable and the same.

Delivering a sustainable future for synthetic rubber

We are committed to further our position as a leader in innovation in synthetic rubber and helping our customers achieve their sustainability targets. We believe that collaboration and partnerships are key to supporting circularity across the industry and to develop materials and products with a better environmental profile but never at the expense of performance.

  • We have partnered with Tyre Recycling Solutions SA (TRS), a company focused on building profitable, sustainable, and global solutions for the collection, processing, and recycling of end-of-life tires.
  • We are expanding our business collaboration with BASF with the production of styrene - one of the main building blocks for synthetic rubber - based on circular feedstock.
  • We have signed a letter of intent to collaborate with ETB on the development of purified bio-based 1,3-butadiene. We are combining our technology and process expertise to accelerate the development of viable, renewably sourced material solutions.

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Q&A

What is mass balance?

Mass balance is a chain of custody model designed to keep track of the total amount of input (e.g. sustainable feedstock) throughout the production cycle and ensure an appropriate allocation to the finished goods. For Trinseo, it is one way to support customers in both achieving their sustainability goals, and another step made towards the development of a truly circular economy.

What are the benefits of using mass balance certified synthetic rubber?

Applying the mass balance chain of custody model according to ISCC standard, Trinseo offers benefits for the environment, raw material suppliers, and end-product manufacturers. Trinseo supports your efforts to save fossil resources, reduce emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide), and your efforts towards achieving your sustainability goals by providing you with materials produced with a known proportion of renewable sources.

Overall, mass balance increases the support for bio- and circular economy through cost-effective scalability that derives from involvement of large industrial players.

Does the rubber need to be requalified from technical perspective?

ISCC-certified products will have the same specifications and properties, because the monomers used to produce the rubber remains unchanged. The only difference is that part of the original source of feedstock originates from sustainable sources. This means that a new qualification is not required, but it depends on each company's policy. In any case, we expect that this will be very fast compared to qualifications of new grades.

Do I need to certify?

You are not absolutely bound to be certified through ISCC; this decision will always be in their hands, although there are several advantages for them to certify with the same third-party certification agency. Customer who certify their sites would be allowed to use ISCC logos and claims, something impossible without certification; customers benefit through improved marketability.