Center gets funds for carbon dioxide-based polymers

Anthony Clark

Published: November 19, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:31 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers

AACHEN, GERMANY (Nov. 19, 12:55 p.m. ET) – A second round of funding for the CAT Catalytic Centre in Aachen will enable the facility to further its work into the to use carbon dioxide as an alternative building block for plastics. It will also help the facility develop ways to use the spare electricity from wind turbines to produce hydrogen using electrolysis.

The projects, run in conjunction with Bayer MaterialScience, have attracted funding of 20 million euros and have proved a “magnet for top researchers”, according to Professor Walter Leitner, chair of technical chemistry and petrochemistry at RWTH and scientific director of the CAT Catalytic Centre.

Christoph Gürtler, who heads the Bayer MaterialScience catalysis program and also serves as director of the Aachen facility, added: “Without the CAT Catalytic Centre we most certainly would not have progressed so quickly in developing these projects.”

One of the objectives is to use CO2 as a source of carbon for manufacturing polyols, reducing consumption of petroleum-based propylene oxide, the conventional raw material. The CO2-based polyols will initially serve as a building block for flexible polyurethane foam. However, the range of applications will soon be expanded to include coatings and thermoplastic polyurethanes, Gürtler explained.

The CO2RRECT project (CO2-Reaction using Regenerative Energies and Catalytic Technologies) is also making good progress. One goal of this research is to use the excess electricity from wind turbines to produce hydrogen by way of electrolysis. The hydrogen will then be combined with waste CO2 from power plants to obtain chemical intermediates, such as carbon monoxide and formic acid, which can be used in turn to manufacture not only polyurethanes but also the high-performance polycarbonates.

“To react the CO2, Bayer has developed a catalyst that is a significant improvement over the state of the art,” said Gürtler. Furthermore, a chemical reactor for CO2-reforming, also developed by Bayer, promises significant cost advantages over conventional plants. This reformer is currently under construction as a demonstration facility at the INVITE research centre, run jointly in Leverkusen by Bayer Technology Services and Dortmund Technical University.

The new reformer is scheduled to go into operation there in spring 2013.

“Our partners have also developed a water electrolyser that can be started up and shut down in seconds,” explained Gürtler. As a result, the current fluctuations that are unavoidable when using regeneratively produced electricity can be reliably managed, he added.

A demonstration system will be built in the near future.


Comments

Center gets funds for carbon dioxide-based polymers

Anthony Clark

Published: November 19, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:31 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Vinyl siding's lead slips, but industry pushing back

July 29, 2014 2:04 pm ET

Vinyl siding continues to be the top cladding choice for home builders and remodelers but fiber cement is gaining ground — at an alarming rate...    More

Unipex Group buys Ferguson Chemical Innovation

July 29, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Chemical distributor Unipex Group Inc. announced July 29 that it had purchased Ferguson Chemical Innovation, a Brampton, Ontario-based supplier of...    More

Image

Carbon black supplier Orion begins trading on NYSE

July 29, 2014 11:29 am ET

Orion Engineered Carbons S.a.r.l. has priced the initial public offering of 19.5 million common shares at a price to the public of $18 per share.    More

Image

Dow sees solid second quarter performance

July 29, 2014 11:19 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reported its second quarter figures, with its seventh consecutive quarter of growth, according to the company.More

Image

Evonik sells polyimide foams operation to Boyd

July 29, 2014 10:46 am ET

Modesto, Calif.-based Boyd Corp., a manufacturers of specialty material and sealing agents, has purchased Evonik Industries’ Solimid...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events