Japan’s Fujitsu and Teijin are partnering on a blockchain solution to trace recycled industrial materials used in manufacturing. The firms note that Europe requires companies to adjust manufacturing processes to use more environmentally friendly designs and processes.
Initially, the blockchain solution will focus on carbon fiber and aramid fiber, two high performance polyimides (plastics) that Teijin manufactures. Carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel, and aramid is a heat resistant synthetic fiber. While aramid might not be a familiar term, Kevlar, Du Pont’s branded version used in body armor, probably is. Aramid is used in military applications as well as for aerospace, cars, boats and other industrial uses.
The challenge for manufacturers using recycled materials is they need proof of origin and data regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Teijin developed a process for calculating GHG emissions from carbon and aramid fiber manufacturing processes. And Fujitsu is providing its blockchain expertise for the solution.
Together the companies aim to promote sustainable manufacturing and a circular economy. The project is still in the early stages, with plans for full-scale trials shortly, aiming to be in production by April 2023.
Because of the environmental impact of plastics, blockchain is getting widely deployed for traceability. In Japan, Dainippon Printing and Mitsubishi are collaborating on sustainable packaging. IBM, Mitsui Chemicals and Nomura Research have launched a plastic recycling consortium. Two startups that have been particularly active in this area are Circularise and Security Matters.