Germany: Renewable Substitutes Raw Materials Summit Highlights Use of Non-Fossil Resources for Sustainable Chemistry
At the Summit, alternatives to fossil resources were discussed and five start-ups from three continents were selected as ‘Resource Innovators 2018’ to further propagate this vision.
Berlin/Germany – Sustainable raw materials from plants and CO2 are increasingly being considered as an alternative to oil in the production of chemical products. Companies and investors as well as science and politics see promising prospects here. This is the conclusion of the Raw Materials Summit 2018, which took place recently at the Technical University of Berlin under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The participants called for the further development and use of non-fossil resources in order to make chemistry more sustainable and climate-friendly. Young companies in particular could make a major contribution to this. Five start-ups from three continents were selected as ‘Resource Innovators 2018’ at the summit.
The event was again organised jointly by the TU Berlin, the Dechema Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie and the materials manufacturer Covestro. It highlighted Germany’s leading role as an innovative location for alternative raw materials in the chemical and plastics industries.
Numerous new products based on plant biomass and CO2 have recently been launched in the market, such as components for high-quality foams. This saves fossil resources such as oil and improves the sustainability balance sheets of chemical producers and numerous downstream industries.
The event also emphasized Berlin’s role as a research location for green chemistry. For example, the new Chemical Invention Factory, which is being built on the campus of the Technical University, offers new opportunities for setting up companies in the university environment and for the direct transfer of science to business.
New ideas in competition
The summit also set a signal for a more entrepreneurial spirit with an international ideas competition: Five start-ups from Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia and the USA presented projects in which plants and CO2 are used as carbon sources instead of oil. And first place was taken by the Australian company Mineral Carbonation International. The start-up takes carbon dioxide from waste gases as an alternative feedstock and transforms it together with minerals into building materials and other valuable industrial products.