Plant-based resins offer sustainable solutions
Covestro builds a bridge to the circular economy at ACS 2022
- Renewable feedstock
- Reduced reliance on fossil raw materials
- Purposeful innovation
Covestro, a leading materials company, will exhibit its portfolio of sustainable coating solutions at the American Coatings Show 2022 in Indianapolis, helping pave the way for a shift to the circular economy. The company’s 2021 acquisition of the Resins & Functional Materials (RFM) business of Dutch company Royal DSM was a major driver of this year’s offerings, significantly strengthening the efforts of Covestro in sustainable solutions and cementing its position as a leading supplier of sustainable coatings and adhesives.
More than 50 years of manufacturing experience of Covestro have also played a key role for this development. Going forward, solutions sourced from sustainable materials will be a key component of their overall portfolio. Sustainable coating resins represent an attractive growth market that aligns with the ultimate goal of the company to move to a fully circular economy, meeting the world’s materials and coatings needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Covestro is excited to collaborate with its customers on the journey to the circular economy as new material solutions transform urbanization, mobility, and their impact on climate change.
Alternative raw materials made using biotechnology
One of the most exciting results is the fruit of work of the company with pioneering biotech company Genomatica to successfully produce the first significant volumes of a plant based version of HMDA (hexamethylene diamine). HMDA is a key precursor for several coatings, adhesives, and a widely used type of nylon (nylon-6,6). 2 million tons of HMDA are used each year, but until now it has been manufactured exclusively from fossil feedstocks. This new process is expected to be able to produce ton-quantities of high-quality material in the near future, helping the automotive, construction, furniture, and textile industries become that much more sustainable going forward.
"Our partnership on this innovative technology allows us to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil feedstocks," said Martin Vlak, Head of Sales & Market Development – North America Coatings & Adhesives at Covestro. "With a purely plant-based HMDA, we can significantly advance our corporate objective of CO2-neutral production."
Several examples of Covestro’s sustainable products are on display in their booth (#2529). Covestro will be showing off Desmodur® eco N 7300, an isocyanate clearcoat hardener whose carbon content is 70 percent sourced from biomass instead of fossil fuels. This sourcing reduces the carbon footprint of the hardener by around 30 percent, compared to conventional solutions using the same application process, with no compromise in performance or quality.
Partially bio-based resin for high-traffic flooring
A third product, Decovery®, is an up to 52 percent partially plant-based flooring resin. Covestro has long experience in resin technology for flooring. Their engineers know better than anyone how traditional bio-based paints have struggled to meet the tough criteria required for high-traffic flooring. Extensive testing has shown that Decovery® has equal performance in durability, chemical resistance and wear resistance when compared with current fossil-based products in the market.
"The emerging line of sustainable and plant-based products of Covestro is the result of our long-term goal of becoming the leading provider of sustainable coating solutions," says Vlak. "Markets are increasingly asking for more environmentally compliant products based on renewable raw materials without compromising functionality. But it’s about more than growth from a margin perspective. It’s about growing sustainably with the right kind of product innovation that brings us to carbon-neutral production. A truly circular economy is within our reach if we remain committed to this level of focus and innovation."
Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.
The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.