Revolutionary Polyol Plant Drumroll for a Revolutionary Process: New Plant Taps Into Industrial Use of CO2
It starts with a bang: Covestro has launched the next level of its flagship project 'Dream Production'. The materials specialist launched a brand-new production site in Dormagen/Germany, which produces polyols for plastic foams by using CO2 as a feedstock. The secret behind this revolutionary process is a special catalysts that helps to save around 20% of common crude based feedstock...
Dormagen/Germany (DST) — A new career for climate killer CO2 -: Turning the emission-bad-boy into a valuable resource has been a dream of worldwide scientist and process engineers for decades. But using Carbon Dioxide proved to be hard challenge: The molecule is notoriously slow to react and can only be cracked with enormous energy bill.
All this could be about to change: Now, Covestro, formerly Bayer Material Science, has taken a further step towardsa circular economy with the production start of a new 5,000 tons/year site in Dormagen produces polyols for plastic foams with 20 percent of the crude-based feedstock replaced by CO2. This revolutionary 'Dream reaction' is made possible by a unique catalyst, developed in cooperation with the CAT Catalytic Center of technological university RWTH Aachen.
New Ways for CO-2 - – Materials Specialist Invests 15 Million
“We have to change the way we look at CO2 , and we will. Using it as an alternative source of raw materials is a solution to some of the biggest challenges of our time – finding a replacement for finite fossil resources such as oil and gas and closing material cycles,” stated Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas at the opening ceremony.
After successful trials, the company decided in 2014 to build a first production scale unit at its chemical complex in Dormagen, Germany, where the new plant profits form a good integration into chemical production cycles. The materials specialist invested € 15 million in the project with an additional € 7.5 million coming from federal funding.
Synergetic Production with Waste Gas CO-2 -
The new production plant is centered around a catalytic reactor which helps to produce polyols as a raw material for polyurethane foams – versatile materials that are used in many industries around the world.
The reaction in liquid phase and under high pressure does not crack the CO2 molecule but binds it chemically and stable into the new material, Covestro experts state. The CO2 used is a waste product from a neighboring chemical company, underlining the positive network effects of the process.