Amazon Filters launches sustainable polypropylene versions of its meltblown filter media

Amazon Filters is using polypropylene (PP) manufactured from renewable resources in the production of its meltblown filter media.

Filter production at Amazon Filters’ manufacturing centre in Camberley, Surrey, UK.
Filter production at Amazon Filters’ manufacturing centre in Camberley, Surrey, UK.

Effectively lowering the carbon footprint of each filter, the Surrey, UK-based manufacturer has launched sustainable polypropylene versions of its flagship ranges SupaSpun II, SupaGard, Contour and VisClear II.

These are widely used in critical liquid filtration processes in key industries such as municipal water, oil and gas, food and beverage, chemicals and coatings, and pharmaceuticals.

Traditionally, monomers sourced from fossil fuels have been the base media feeding into the polymers involved in polypropylene manufacturing.

But now, under a ‘mass balance approach’ developed by Borealis, a proportion of the fossil-derived propane can be replaced by an identical volume of sustainable monomers that are tested to ensure the same level of quality.

Amazon Filters’ product variations involve Borealis’ Bornewables polymers made from sustainably sourced renewable feedstocks.

They are derived solely from waste and excess vegetable oils such as used cooking oil and residues from vegetable oil processing.

The approach has already been used in polypropylene manufacture by early adopters in the Netherlands, including in the production of medical face masks and other filter media.

Describing the process, Amazon Filters managing director Neil Pizzey said raw waste vegetable oil collected from restaurants and the food industry is used to make the monomers that feed into the polypropylene manufacturing process in the same way as monomers sourced from fossil fuels.

“The bio-propane produced as the starter for the propylene and polypropylene production is exactly the same specification as the propane derived from conventional fossil-based feedstocks,” explained Pizzey. “Tests, including gas chromatography and differential scanning calorimetry, conducted on the bio-propylene monomer confirm the absence of any impurities in the sustainable material and so guarantee the equivalent standard.

“This ensures that the end user receives products of identical quality to the purely fossil-derived material but with the assurance of a reduced carbon footprint compared to conventional plastics.

“The ‘mass balance’ approach is no different to using monomers sourced from fossil fuels that may originate in different locations, for example, oil from different countries that will have an inherent degree of variation.

“Customers can enjoy complete confidence that the sustainable cartridges perform to exactly the same level as the previous version and so have zero effect on their production activities or quality assurance standards. They can be reassured of a seamless transition to the sustainable versions.”

Borealis’ Bornewables manufacture is certified under ISCC PLUS, the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system for supply chains.

A life cycle assessment study in accordance with the ISO 14040 and 14044:2006 standards has also been conducted to verify carbon reductions.