Charlotte, North Carolina — Novomer has reached the engineering design stage for a new production facility to make its carbon dioxide-based polyol.
According to chief business officer Peter Shepard, the design process for the 50-100 kT/year facility is complete, and he hopes it will be operational by 2019.
The polyol is made from propylene oxide and carbon dioxide feedstocks, using a catalytic technology licensed from Cornell University. The use of waste carbon dioxide adds to its sustainability.
It is currently toll manufactured in Houston, Texas, and the 2kT/year that provides is currently sufficient for field trials. Applications in both rigid and flexible foams are under development.
“Our materials work well in panels,” Shepard said. “They offer less combustibility and produce less smoke, and can meet flammability requirements with lower levels of flame retardants.”
It has potential applications across the whole polyurethane spectrum, including commercial PU coatings and reactive hot melt adhesives. The challenge will lie in gaining acceptance for a new material, he added.
Shepard believes the polyol’s backbone is less random than Covestro’s carbon dioxide-based product, which is made using a different catalyst. This gives good strength characteristics.