Covestro uses CO2 to produce polycarbonate polyol on an industrial scale at its Dormagen site near Cologne, Germany. The polyols contain 20 % CO2. The new process saves a proportional amount of the traditional oil-based raw material. Covestro scientists worked together with experts from the CAT Catalytic Center in Aachen, a research institute operated jointly with RWTH, to find the right catalyst for the reaction with CO2.
The company has invested some EUR 15 million in the new plant, which has an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons. The CO2 used is a waste product from a neighboring chemical company. The polyols are being marketed under the Cardyon brand.
Polyols are core building blocks for polyurethane foam, a versatile material that is used in many industries around the world. The new CO2-based polyol has been engineered initially for flexible polyurethane foam intended for use in mattresses and upholstered furniture. In terms of quality, the foam achieves at least the same high standards as conventional material produced using only petrochemical raw materials.
- Covestro AG, Leverkusen, Germany