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Toray taking mass balance approach to carbon fibre

Voluntary programme guarantees that the raw materials used are sourced from biomass or recycled materials.

27th November 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Japan

Sustainable, Industrial, Transport/​Aerospace

Toray Carbon Fibers Europe, the French subsidiary of Japan’s Toray Industries, has obtained ISCC PLUS certification for its production plants in Lacq and Abidos in south-western France.

The certification allows the company to allocate and use biomass or recycled materials through the mass balance approach to produce and supply carbon fibre and help its customers to enhance product life cycle assessments (LCAs), while contributing to building a circular economy.

The voluntary certification programme of the ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) guarantees that the raw materials used are sourced from biomass or recycled materials and also ensures that there is complete traceability at all stages of the manufacturing process. The mass balance approach tracks the amount and characteristics of circular and bio-based materials used in the value chain and is based on verifiable records. The scheme is open to several sectors such as the food, feed, chemicals, plastics, packaging and textile industries.

Toray Carbon Fibers Europe will start manufacturing carbon fibre derived from biomass and recycled raw materials by the end of 2023.

In addition, Toray’s Ehime Plant in Japan aims to obtain ISCC PLUS certification by March 2024 and begin producing fibre by the close of that year, and the Toray Composite Materials America plant in Decatur, Alabama, also plans to obtain the certification during 2024.

Toray reports that it has already received requests for this from customers similarly committed to carbon neutrality. From the end of 2023, it will offer the carbon fibre for industrial applications in automotive and handheld devices where demand is particularly high. At a later date, other applications, such as in aerospace and sports, will also be targeted.

Taking the mass balance approach, raw materials with certain characteristics – such as those that are biomass-derived – are mixed with raw materials derived from oil in the processing and distribution processes. Characteristics are assigned to part of a product in line with the input proportions of the raw materials.

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