Fos-sur-Mere, Germany — Unmodified flue gas from steel production is to be used by a new a consortium of 14 partners led by Covestro in an EU Spire project to make rigid polyols.
‘Together, we are on the path to a crucial innovation: waste gas mixtures from the steel industry can provide carbon for chemical processes and ultimately be used to produce insulation materials and coatings,’ explained Marcus Steilemann, the Covestro board member responsible for innovation marketing and sales.
He continued: ‘this helps us to broaden our resource base and to reduce the climate footprint for the entire value chain.’
The European Union is supporting the project, called Carbon4PUR under the auspices of its SPIRE programme; this is a European public-private partnership, dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency in the process industries.
The project will receive EUR 8 m in funding over three years. And industrial partners will add financial contributions to this.
The project aims to use mixes of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide generated during steel production to produce polyols for polyurethane-based insulation materials and coatings.
The process that is being developed is designed to eliminate the resource-intensive step of separating the waste gas into different components. Instead, the whole mixture will be subjected to catalytic processes and converted directly into building blocks and intermediates for polyurethanes.
The project will be based at an ArcelorMittal steel factory in Fos-sur-Mer, France, which is located close to a Covestro site.
The recovery project consortium includes academic and institutional partners such as RWTH Aachen University; TU Berlin; Dechema; Imperial College London; the Universities of Ghent and Leiden; the French Atomic and Renewable Energy Commission; South Pole Carbon Asset Management, The Port of Marseille and PNO Innovations. The press release suggests that Covestro could supply polyols from the project to Recticel.