Leverkusen, Germany -- Bayer has a new pilot plant on stream at Chempark Leverkusen to trial a new process to make polyether polyols from carbon dioxide (CO2) on a technical scale.
This is the first scheme for production of high-quality plastics using CO2 from the energy sector, Bayer says.
Researchers from Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and Bayer Technology Services are exploring production of polyether polycarbonate polyols (PPPs) from CO2, for making polyurethane polymers.
As a result, BMS says, CO2 - a waste gas and key contributor to climate change - can be recycled and used as a raw material and a substitute for petroleum.
Bayer is working on the project with the energy company RWE, which supplies the CO2 used in the process. Other partners are RWTH Aachen University and the CAT Catalytic Center, which is run jointly by the university and Bayer.
Bayer says a recent breakthrough in laboratory-scale catalysis technology has made it possible to put CO2 to efficient use, for the first time.
"The inauguration of this pilot plant is another milestone in a long line of Bayer projects that have used innovative technologies to develop sustainable production processes,"said Bayer board member Dr Wolfgang Plischke, at a 17 Feb press conference at Leverkusen.
PIC: Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary State Secretary, German FederalMinistry of Education and Research; Svenja Schulze, North Rhine-Westphalia's Ministerfor Innovation, Science and Research; Dr Wolfgang Plischke Bayer Board member.