Looking back on LG Chem’s eco-friendly ABS Webinar
2023. 07. 07
2023. 07. 07
In late March 2023, LG Chem’s Petrochemicals Company held a webinar to inform our customers about the eco-friendly properties & production of ABS. The webinar, hosted by the ABS Business unit, started with a keynote and had three sessions, as can be seen in the image below. Today, we look back on the main points of each session.
The first session was delivered by Kim Young, Team Leader of the Circular.Recycle Strategy Team of the Sustainability Business Unit, who outlined LG Chem’s sustainability goals & strategies, and gave a brief introduction to the eco-friendly products of LG Chem Petrochemicals Company.
LG Chem is focusing on ESG management in order to provide innovative and differentiated sustainable solutions for the environment and society. We aim to accomplish the 2030 carbon-neutral growth and 2050 net-zero goal through a series of strategies; convert to 100% renewable energy by 2050, establish a closed-loop system for plastic waste, achieve zero waste to landfill, and build a responsible supply chain.
To respond to the climate change and achieve carbon-neutral growth, we are taking three different approaches to reduce carbon; Direct Reduction Method (Reduce) including process innovation and use of eco-friendly raw materials, Indirect Reduction Method (Avoid) represented by transition to renewable energy, and Offset Reduction Method (Compensate) through carbon emission offset projects.
Advanced and bold business expansion has always been the key to LG Chem’s growth. However, our new focus is on shifting to a global sustainability-leading company by strengthening the foundation for sustainability and diversifying our portfolio. In line with LG Chem’s sustainability strategy, the Petrochemicals Company is striving to become a global leader in the field of eco-friendly materials and sustainable solutions.
LG Chem’s Petrochemicals Company targets at achieving innovative sustainability through diversification of raw materials, energy, and value chain based on existing infrastructure. We plan to expand our sustainability business including bio materials, circular materials, carbon reduction activities, and renewable energy. In 2023, we established the Sustainability Business unit to execute eco-friendly innovations and paradigm shifts.
LG Chem offers an array of eco-friendly products; Recycled materials, Compostable materials, and Bio-Circular Balanced materials. Recycled materials are broken into two parts; One, PCR (Post-Consumer Recycle) products made by mechanical recycling waste plastics, two, Circular Balanced materials based on chemical recycling (pyrolysis) of plastics. Next, Compostable materials are naturally decomposed into water and carbon dioxide within a few months under certain conditions. Last, Bio-Circular Balanced materials are obtained from renewable feedstock such as vegetable oils. You can learn more about LG Chem’s sustainable lineup with LETZero, our comprehensive eco-friendly materials brand, on LG Chem Blog.
In the second session, Kim Chang-Sul, Team Leader of the Eco-friendly Business Development Team of the ABS Business unit, continued to speak on the topic of LG Chem’s eco-friendly ABS.
Leading the global ABS market, LG Chem’s ABS department operates ABS production factories with a capacity of 2.22 million tons in Korea and China, counting to a global market share of 4.4 billion dollars in 2022. We also succeeded in mass-producing white PCR ABS in 2020 for the world’s first, which is applied to external housings and home appliances such as TVs and remote controls in collaboration with global appliance companies. As LG Chem provides a distinct, unrivaled “eco-friendly ABS comprehensive solution,” we have attracted over 200 customers currently using or considering LG Chem’s eco-friendly ABS. Take a look at how we contribute to our customers with four distinctions of eco-friendly ABS solutions.
The first solution is high quality and supply stability. Directly participating in the entire value chain, unlike other companies, LG Chem has been investing in hazardous substance management and quality uniformity in collaboration with raw material suppliers and production sites. As for supply stability, we have signed long-term supply contracts for high quality raw materials. We are also operating raw material storage warehouses for quality management with the goal of securing raw materials three-fold the amount of 2022 by 2026.
The second solution is eco-friendly ABS that enables multiple recycling while maintaining high quality comparable to existing ABS. We have developed our proprietary compound technology and invested in production equipment to overcome the limits of quality degradation that is unavoidable during its life cycle.
For colors, PCR ABS is typically made in dark colors such as gray or black, as various colored plastics are mixed during recycling. In other words, there is difficulty making bright colors and limits in color options due to the characteristic of recycled plastics. However, with LG Chem’s proprietary technology, we successfully implemented diverse colors in PCR ABS with properties equivalent to existing ABS. Our customers can choose an extensive color range from white and black to neutral hues reminding nature. Various colors (marble, speckle, etc.) with the feel of recycled material are available. LG Chem’s dedicated Color Design team develops and proposes various colors, actively responding to our customer’s requests for color development.
The third solution is a global local production solution. We completed the construction of our production base in Korea in 2020 and in China in 2021, having supplied products with locally made PCR materials. We are currently expanding our production bases in Europe and the Americas, which are due for completion by 2024, to establish a stable material supply base by directly exploring raw materials in each region.
The last solution is a stable closed-loop establishment solution. To transform waste plastic into stable supply sources, LG Chem is supplying high quality raw materials through cooperation, separation, and selection technology packages with raw material suppliers.
From recycled materials to bio-circular balanced materials, each product in LG Chem’s eco-friendly portfolio comes of different grades. The ABS Business unit is currently operating and developing products to supply eco-friendly products with higher quality to satisfy our customers’ requirements. Various types of eco-friendly ABS can be applied to our daily lives, such as home appliances, automotive interior/exterior materials, etc.
For those wondering about LG Chem’s eco-friendly ABS, the last part of webinar was a Q&A session. Fulfill your curiosity about our eco-friendly ABS with the following FAQs!
A1) PCR products’ current quality is similar to conventional ABS. LG Chem thoroughly verifies the quality of PCR products through tests on mechanical properties, appearance characteristics, thermal stability, etc. As for the balanced products, achieving the same quality as conventional ABS is possible since the oil is added at the NCC stage. We are working hard to provide PCR ABS with even higher quality by developing processes that improve the quality of raw materials.
A2) Among our products, bio-circular balanced product features the highest carbon reduction rate. It is made with plant raw materials that absorb carbon, allowing us to reduce more carbon than the amount used in the manufacturing process. Roughly, a bio-circular balanced product with 75% bio content can show a carbon reduction of over 124% compared to conventional ABS. In the case of mechanically recycled ABS products, a product with 50% PCR content has a carbon reduction effect of about 50%, and a chemically recycled product with 30% recycled content has that of about 17%. However, these values are rough estimates, and the carbon reduction results obtained through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) may vary for each product.
A3) The amount of using PCR ABS is expected to rise to over 70,000 tons in 2025 and over 150,000 tons in 2030, showing steady growth in demand in the mid to long term. We are highly optimistic that we can expand the product line in the future, and are positively considering conventional ABS applied with bioenergy as well as 100% bio-circular balanced products.
‘Eco-friendliness’ can be difficult to regard in terms of general industry trends, especially when considering the various conflicts of interests between industries and countries. We hope that this webinar can demystify the complexities. You can play LG Chem’s Eco-Friendly ABS Webinar on LG Chem On.
LG Chem’s ABS Business unit will put much effort into providing helpful information and customer satisfaction through eco-friendly products, whilst maintaining our position as the leading ABS manufacturer.