LEVERKUSEN, Germany—Materials manufacturer Covestro A.G. is collaborating to explore the potential of incorporating carbon dioxide into rigid polyurethane foam.
The Leverkusen-based firm is looking to produce plastic components with a CO2 content of at least 20 percent and the remainder coming from ethylene oxide (EO), Covestro said.
It is already being used in the company's cardyon for flexible foam polyols, however CO2, EO compounds could also “feasibly be used to produce additives,” Covestro added.
Covestro already developed the technology required to use CO2 in elastomers.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the three-year research project with which RWTH Aachen University and Berlin University of Technology are involved, along with Mainz, Germany-based PSS Polymer Standards Service, Puren based in Uberlingen, Germany and BYK Additives & Instruments in Geretsried, Germany.
“We are now taking the next step on the way to establishing carbon dioxide as an alternative raw material in the chemical and plastics industry,” said Christoph Gurtler, project coordinator head of catalysis research at Covestro.
“With CO2 as a carbon source, we can increasingly dispense with traditional, fossil sources such as petroleum. After successfully incorporating it in a key precursor to flexible foam, we are now tackling the next challenge.”