Is a Negative CO2 Footprint Possible?
We've told you about Metabolix and their bioplastic resins. Recently the producers of the corn-based plastic resin, Mirelâ„¢, released the results of a life cycle assessment conducted by chemical engineers at Michigan State University. They determined that, "production of Mirel reduces the use of nonrenewable energy by more than 95% and provides a 200% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) compared to production of conventional petroleum-based plastics."
The article notes that Mirel is made from corn and uses renewable energy for production. The LCA study measures the impacts of the resin from "cradle to factory gate" and says that Mirel actually has a negative net CO2 footprint. They also compare Mirel to other olefins such as polypropylene and polyethylene, saying that the biobased plastic requires only 2.5 MJ/kg of nonrenewable energy per kilogram verses 70 MJ/kg. The full LCA is not available yet online, but we look forward to seeing the published results. Read the full story here. Image via the Metabolix website.