The first production plant in Dormagen
How CO₂ technology works
The new material comes from a production plant of Covestro, near Cologne, where the industrial production of cardyon™ started in 2016. The core element of the new process is a 25-metric-ton chemical reactor and systems for processing the CO2-based polyol.
With the innovative technology, Covestro incorporates up to 20 percent carbon dioxide into the novel polyol, a component for flexible foams, for example. The CO2 is chemically bound and not released again into the atmosphere. If the polyol is brought together with isocyanate, the two react to form a premium, flexible polyurethane foam. The quality is at least on par with the conventional material, comprised entirely of fossil resources.
Since June 2016, Covestro has been operating its own production plant for the innovative polyols at its site in Dormagen, Germany. It has an annual capacity of 5,000 metric tons. The CO2 processed is a waste product from a neighboring chemical facility.
Flexible polyurethane foam based on CO2 is only the beginning. Covestro is working intensively with its partners on using CO2 in many other plastics. Our vision is to develop a broad range of applications with CO2-based polyurethane materials. Imagine new CO2-based polyurethanes in cars, for instance, or in the form of innovative elastomers used to fabricate seals.
Science and Business working together
The work of Covestro to advance its technologies is not restricted to its own laboratories, rather the company collaborates with various partners, in this case RWTH Aachen University of Technology. Because one thing is certain: Science and business must work hand-in-hand in CO2 research if they want to push existing boundaries.