Bayer out to turn CO2 into mattresses in 'Dream Production'

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Bayer MaterialScience Karsten Malsch, project manager for Bayer MaterialScience's CO2-to-plastics Dream Production project, says the first major application likely will be polyurethane foam for mattresses.

Bayer MaterialScience has announced a plan for a small production line to produce polyols from carbon dioxide gas, taking its Dream Production project to the next stage.

The German group said it will invest 15 million euros ($20.5 million) in the construction of a production line at its Dormagen, Germany, site, which will use CO2 to produce polyols, which are a precursor for making polyurethane foam. The line will have an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons and first production is expected in 2016.

The Dream Production project was started by Bayer MaterialScience to develop a process to turn CO2 from a waste greenhouse gas into useful products. The company developed a catalyst for the process with the CAT Catalytic Centre, a research facility in Aachen, Germany.

A two-year test phase in a pilot plant at the company’s Leverkusen site ended last year with a decision to commercialize the technology.

“Improving the sustainability of everything we do is an integral part of our business strategy and this principle is implemented in our Dream Production project. We have succeeded in turning a waste gas that is potentially harmful to the climate into a useful raw material. That helps the environment and mankind, and we all benefit,” said Bayer MaterialScience CEO Patrick Thomas.

The pilot program included a study of potential market demand, which is leading Bayer toward polyurethane foam. The most likely major field for the production will be mattresses, said Karsten Malsch, Dream Production project manager.