The waste gas and key contributor to climate change CO2 can be recycled and used as a raw material and substitute for petroleum. A pilot plant has come on stream at Bayer’s Chempark Leverkusen, Germany, to trial this process on a technical scale. The plant produces a chemical precursor into which CO2 is incorporated and then processed into polyurethanes that are used in many everyday items.
The process is the result of the “Dream Production” project, a collaboration between industry and science. Bayer is working on the project with the energy company RWE, which supplies the CO2. At its Coal Innovation Center near Cologne, Germany, the company operates a CO2 scrubber where the CO2 is separated from the flue gas.
Other project partners are RWTH Aachen University and the CAT Catalytic Center, which is run jointly by the university and Bayer. The researchers recently achieved a break-through in laboratory-scale catalysis technology which makes it possible to put CO2 to efficient use, for the first time.
If the testing phase goes well, the industrial production of plastics based on CO2 should start in 2015.
- Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany