Harmen Willemse, NEN

Harmen Willemse, NEN

By Harmen Willemse MSc, Consultant Bio-based Economy at NEN – Netherlands Standardization Institute

Bio-based products are products, which are wholly or partly derived from biomass. Therefore, it is essential to characterize the amount of biomass contained in the product. The bio-based content includes not only the amount of carbon, but also the elements hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.

A new ‘Bio-based content certification scheme’ developed by NEN – Netherlands Standardization Institute will be launched at the 11th European Bioplastics Conference on 29/30 November 2016 in Berlin, by issuing the first certificates to products from Corbion and Kraton.

Rethinking determination of bio-based content

The new method for the determination of the bio-based content was developed and validated in two European 7th Framework Programme research projects: Knowledge Based Bio-based Products’ Pre-Standardization (KBBPPS) and OpenBio; and captured in a European Standard based on a standardization request by the European Commission (M/492). This European standard, EN 16785-1:2015, describes the method for determination of the bio-based content of solid, liquid and gaseous products, using radiocarbon analysis and elemental analyses. It can be applied to any raw material, chemical, intermediate, semi-finished product or finished product.

Enhancing communication

Reliable communication and credible claims about the bio-based content of products are critical success factors for the acceptance of bio-based products and the deployment of the bio-based economy. A group of European stakeholders has developed a certification system, which can be used by organizations to make a validated claim on the (minimum share of) bio-based content in their products.

Certify your product

The first certificates will be issued by the certification bodies DIN CERTCO and Vinçotte to bio-based products produced by Corbion and Kraton. From then on, certification is open to all suppliers of bio-based products. Any product containing biomass qualifies for certification. Certification enables clear and transparent communication of the total bio-based content of products, by means of a certificate and label with the percentage bio-based content.

Independent assessment

The “Bio-based content certification scheme” is the single European certification scheme that enables independent assessment of claims about the bio-based content of products, based on the European standard EN 16785-1. It contains provisions for the determination, verification and monitoring of the bio-based content of products or product families.

More information about the bio-based content certification including a list of certified products can be found on www.biobasedcontent.eu