The EU is seeking to reduce the environmental impact of products. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the potential environmental impact of products throughout their lifetimes.
The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) supports Life Cycle Assessment. It is a rigorous scientific method for evaluating a product’s potential environmental impact throughout its lifecycle including the impact of the materials and processes that are used to produce it.
2022 update of TDMA Life-Cycle Inventory
The TDMA is committed to advancing the understanding of and communicating the ecological footprint of titanium dioxide (TiO2) products.
The TDMA is currently updating its dataset for TiO2’s life-cycle footprint – the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data.
The update is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and made available online for downstream users. The TDMA is also working in synergy with the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink, and Artist’s Colours Industry (CEPE) to ensure alignment between the methodology and data of the respective LCI databases.
Access to TiO2 Life Cycle Inventory Data
The TDMA has developed an accounting and reporting method to derive the ‘cradle-to-gate’ Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) of TiO2 products.
The dataset was first developed in 2014 and was updated in 2018 to include new primary data for the main raw materials used to manufacture TiO2 products. The LCI data produced using this method has been reviewed externally and is freely available by sending an email to email@example.com.
The TDMA encourages its customers and suppliers to use its LCI data to help assess the PEF, including the carbon footprint, of their own products containing TiO2.
Product Environmental footprint of paint and coating products containing TiO2
Paints and coatings are the main application areas for TiO2. CEPE commissioned Ecomatters to perform a PEF screening study on decorative paints.
The study considered decorative paints used to coat interior walls and ceilings, exterior walls, and interior and exterior trim and cladding, and their PEF over the total lifetime of a building. The results showed that high-quality paints formulated with high levels of TiO2 pigment have the lowest PEF when compared to low-quality paints formulated with low TiO2 content and high extender content.
Paints formulated with high TiO2 pigment content have the highest opacity. This means that fewer coats of paint are needed to achieve the same coverage. Use of TiO2 pigments in paints also helps to make them more durable, helping to prolong their lifetime.
Using highly opaque and highly durable paints to decorate a product helps to reduce the need for redecoration during a product’s lifetime, helping to reduce its overall environmental footprint.
The chart shows that paints with high TiO2 content (high opacity and high durability) have a lower total PEF versus paints with low TiO2 content (low opacity and low durability).