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OSAKA - Nippon Shokubai has obtained ISCC biomass certification for superabsorbent polymers produced by its subsidiary Nippon Shokubai Europe, a initiative that will contribute to a reduction in the environmental impact of disposable diapers.

SAP is the key material for disposable diapers and is mainly made from acrylic acid produced from propylene. The ISCC Plus certification for NSE covers the production of SAP utilizing acrylic acid produced from biomass-derived propylene and will allow the company to establish a system to supply the bio-based SAP in response to customers' requests.

According to Nippon Shokubai , the quality of the bio-based SAP is equivalent to that of conventional petroleum-derived products, and the use of bio-based SAP will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions throughout the product life cycle. 

The certification was awarded under the ISCC's mass balance method which demonstrates that when biomass-derived raw materials and petroleum-derived raw materials are mixed, the ratio of the biomass-derived raw materials used is assigned as the biomass ratio of the specific end product.

For example, if 30% of the propylene used in the production of acrylic acid and SAP is bio-based propylene and the rest is petroleum-based propylene, the mass balance method can be applied to allocate 30% of the bio-based propylene to SAP. Therefore, biomass-derived and petroleum-derived raw materials can be manufactured up to completion of the final product without distinguishing between them, and the extent of contribution to reducing CO2 emissions during the life cycle of the product can be shown.

In addition to bio-based SAP, Nippon Shokubai is engaged in the research and development of sustainable SAP that contributes to the reduction of environmental impact, such as biodegradable SAP and recycled SAP, which is separated from used disposable diapers and restored to almost the same level of functionality as new ones.

ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) is one of the world's largest certification organizations, and is widely recognized in Europe and other parts of the world. It has a track record of more than 4,000 certifications in over 100 countries for sustainable raw materials, such as biomass and waste plastics, and recyclable products. 

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