Covestro-led consortium to use waste gas from steel plants to make plastics

Friday, Oct 20, 2017

Polymer giant Covestro is leading a consortium of 14 partners to study how plastics can be produced from flue gas from the steel industry in an efficient and sustainable manner.

The investigation anchored by the materials manufacturer Covestro is expected to save crude oil along with the raw material used in conventional processes for plastic production.

A new source of raw materials for plastic production in the form of carbon dioxide and other waste gases is being seen with a lot of interest in Europe, says Covestro.

Dubbed as Carbon4PUR, the cross-sector project which features companies from seven countries will receive €8m for a 3-year period from the European Union. The industrial partners in the projects will leverage the EU funding with further investments.

The project aims to use mixtures of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide released during steel production to produce polyols.

Considered to be critical components of polyurethane-based insulating materials and coatings, polyols are otherwise extracted from crude oil.

Covestro board member Dr. Markus Steilemann said: “Together, we are on the path to a crucial innovation: waste gas mixtures from the steel industry can provide carbon for a chemical processes and ultimately be used to produce insulation materials and coatings.

“This helps us to broaden our resource base and to reduce the climate footprint for the entire value chain. At the same time, we are joining our forces by partnering with industrial and academic partners throughout Europe.”

According to Covestro, the industrial pilot could start in an ArcelorMittal steel factory and a Covestro production facility in Fos-sur-Mer, France.

Covestro, from its base in southern France, plans to deliver its intermediate plastic products to additional industrial partners like Recticel and Megara Resins.

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