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        LETZero Encyclopedia: Bio-Circular Balanced SAP – Eco-friendly material obtained from renewable plant-based oil

        2023. 09. 13

        Bio-Circular Balanced SAP

        Welcome to LETZero Encyclopedia, an introductory series to LG Chem’s eco-friendly brand LETZero and its products. Following the latest episode on Bio-circular Balanced IPA which shines when applied with other materials, today we’ll look at Bio-Circular Balanced SAP, an eco-friendly material based on renewable raw materials, how it is produced, and where it is utilized.

        Bio-Circular Balanced SAP based on plant-based raw materials!

        SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer)

        First, let’s take a look at what SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer) is. SAP takes the form of a white powder, and is known to absorb a lot of water in short time, as much as 200 times its own weight. These unique properties make it widely-applicable in hygiene products such as baby diapers, agricultural water retaining agents, waterproof agents for building, food storage materials, and so more. First introduced in the U.S. in 1974, SAP was then commercialized in 1978. Since 1982 when companies started using it as an absorber in diapers, the demand and supply for SAP kept soaring up, resulting in a rapid growth.

        Besides being absorptive, SAP requires a couple of characteristics. First, it must be leakage-free under external pressure. Second, it must absorb water quickly. While having affinity for water (hydrophilicity), it needs to be insoluble in water at the same time. In other words, it’s important that SAP absorbs water effectively, yet does not dissolve in water.

        Bio-Circular Balanced SAP

        SAP is an absorber made by polymerizing Acrylic acid extracted from crude oil with Caustic Soda. Recently, LG Chem developed a new type of SAP by blending Bio-renewable feedstock, a renewable feedstock extracted from plant-based oil, with Fossil-based oil. Known as Bio-Circular Balanced SAP, this new material can cut down about 111% of the carbon emissions compared to traditional SAP. (For products applied with bio raw materials, measurement includes the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the plants.) Plus, Bio-Circular Balanced SAP obtained the ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certificate) PLUS, which evaluates not just the production process, but also all associate companies including manufacture and distribution, until the ISCC mark could be printed on the final product. In short, LG Chem’s Bio-Circular Balanced SAP has verified sustainability in its overall process, ranging from production to manufacture and distribution.

        Applications of Bio-Circular Balanced SAP

        Products applied with Bio-Circular Balanced SAP

        Not different from the traditional SAP, Bio-Circular Balanced SAP is commonly used in hygiene products such as baby diapers, adult diapers, and sanitary pads. Also, it can be applied to cooling or heating packs that soothe your children’s fevers, or cooling patches to ease the fatigue on your swollen arms and legs.

        In August 2021, LG Chem celebrated its first export of Bio-Circular Balanced SAP. One year after that, in August 2022, LG Chem signed an MOU with Yuhan Kimberly, a Korea-based consumer goods manufacturer, to develop sustainable products. LG Chem will provide their Bio-Circular Balanced SAP to Yuhan Kimberly, who will then cooperate by expanding the use of eco-friendly materials in products both for children and adults, for example, launching a new diaper (Huggies Nature-made Organic). This partnership is expected to help accelerate the two companies’ targeting of the premium eco-friendly market.

        So far, we introduced the Bio-Circular Balance SAP to you. We will come back at the next LETZero Encyclopedia, with a story of PCR PE.

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