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 Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability

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

China's Shide Group, BASF unveil 'revolutionary' all-plastic window profile

April 23, 2014 9:10 pm ET

SHANGHAI — The PVC window profile market in Asia is expected to increase four-fold by 2025, and Chinese building products maker Dalian Shide...    More

Worker dies in fall at Formosa Texas plant

April 23, 2014 4:04 pm ET

A subcontractor died April 22 after falling 25 feet during routine cleaning operations at a Formosa Plastics Corp. USA facility in Point Comfort,...    More

Image

Milliken expanding SC plant for additional PP clarifying agent capacity

April 23, 2014 3:42 pm ET

American chemical company Milliken & Co. has announced plans for a major expansion in capacity for its Millad NX8000 clarifying agent for...    More

Image

CPM Extrusion, ECON launch new line of underwater pelletizers

April 23, 2014 11:25 am ET

CPM Extrusion Group and ECON GmbH unveiled their brand new EUPC line of underwater pelletizers today at ChinaPlas held in Shanghai, China.    More

Clariant says Asia holds the key to growth

April 23, 2014 3:52 pm ET

Clariant AG is based in Switzerland, but its eyes are firmly focused further east.    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events