Covestro was an invited guest of German President
At the ‘Week of the Environment’ in Berlin, materials manufacturer Covestro presented its technology for turning CO2 into a useful raw material in plastics production. The company, together with the CAT Catalytic Center of RWTH Aachen University, presented the Dream Production project as a contribution to resource conservation in the park of Schloss Bellevue, the German President’s residence. A total of 200 exhibitors from the business, science and public sectors had sustainable initiatives on display at the event.
“Using CO2 as a raw material is one step towards establishing an alternative raw materials basis for the chemical industry. We are a leader in the field, and can help to conserve fossil resources,” said Dr. Karsten Malsch of Covestro, head of the project, in Berlin. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to present the potential of our project at the Week of the Environment.”
By using CO2, the company reduces its use of petroleum, the standard raw material, by up to 20 percent in a precursor of polyurethane foam. The resulting flexible foam containing CO2 exhibits the same high quality as conventional products. Next week, Covestro is opening its first production plant for the innovative precursor at its Dormagen site.
Dream Production among Sustainia’s top 100
In addition to the Week of the Environment, the project is also represented elsewhere. Concurrent with the exhibition in the park of Schloss Bellevue, ‘Dream Production’ was selected by Sustainia, a Danish think tank specialized on sustainability, from over 1,200 candidates as one of the top 100 most sustainable projects of 2016.
“The CO2 projects are outstanding examples of sustainability and of our vision of making the world a brighter place,” said Richard Northcote, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro.
A committee will select the winner of the 2016 Sustainia Award this coming fall. Last year, it went to an urban development project in India that made traffic in the major city Chennai more environmentally friendly and reduced the number of accidents.
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of the first quarter 2016 employed approximately 15700 people (full-time equivalents).
photo Joachim Gauck