The use of carbon dioxide will reduce the industry’s reliance on non-renewable resources to manufacture plastics
The chemical industry has long been exploring various ways of turning the carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into a useful raw material that can replace fossil feedstock and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Developing this technology is especially important for the plastics industry as most plastic is made from petroleum.
The CO2 gas has one thing in common with petroleum: it contains the element carbon, a central building block for the chemical industry, and, unlike petroleum, it is an abundant raw material. Covestro has been working with partners from industry and academia on a number of projects to capture CO2 and use it to replace petroleum.
The technology they have developed allows to use CO2 to produce a polyol, the main component of polyurethane foam, which is used almost everywhere – from furniture to building insulation. The foam manufactured from this CO2-based polyol will initially be used in the production of mattresses but could potentially find its way into other applications.