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Germany: Innovation in R&D Covestro Bags Award for Research Breakthrough in Sustainable Chemical Production

| Editor: Ahlam Rais

The firm received an innovation award in the ‘Excellent Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’ competition. Covestro won the award for developing a new process for producing the basic chemical aniline from plants instead of crude oil.

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Plastic from plants: An interdisciplinary team led by Covestro researcher Dr. Gernot Jäger (right) has developed a highly sustainable new production process for the chemical aniline.
Plastic from plants: An interdisciplinary team led by Covestro researcher Dr. Gernot Jäger (right) has developed a highly sustainable new production process for the chemical aniline.
(Source: Covestro )

Germany – Covestro has recently received an innovation award offered by the German Government and industry for a research breakthrough in the production of plastics from renewable raw materials. This makes the materials manufacturer one of the hundred winners of the Germany-wide competition ‘Excellent Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’. The prize was awarded for a newly developed process for producing the important basic chemical aniline from plants instead of crude oil. Covestro is leading a research project with partners from industry and science.

The company received the award in Berlin at an event organised by ‘Germany - Land of Ideas’. With this initiative, the Federal Government and the German industry want to draw attention to the innovative power and efficiency of Germany as a business location. In this year’s competition, which has been held since 2013, around 1,500 applications were submitted. According to the organisers, the winners demonstrate ‘how forward-looking innovations are created through experimentation, curiosity and the courage to rethink’.

As part of the project, Covestro is cooperating with Bayer, the Cat Catalytic Center in Aachen and the University of Stuttgart. In order to produce aniline from plant biomass, the research consortium led by Covestro has developed a completely new process that combines biotechnology and chemistry. Up to now the chemical, which serves as the starting material for numerous products, has been produced worldwide exclusively from fossil raw materials such as crude oil.

After the success in the laboratory and in the first pilot plants, the partners now want to further develop the technology. The ultimate goal is to enable the production of biobased aniline on an industrial scale – an absolute novelty in the plastics industry.

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