Covestro’s CO₂ know-how continues to jot down its success story. The European Patent Workplace (EPO) has introduced the nomination of the 2 German chemists, Dr. Christoph Gürtler (Covestro AG) and Prof. Walter Leitner (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Power Conversion and RWTH Aachen College), as finalists within the “Business” class of the 2021 European Inventor Award for his or her position in creating a brand new know-how for utilizing carbon dioxide (CO₂). This know-how permits the dangerous local weather fuel CO₂ for use as a useful uncooked materials for sustainable plastics. Their course of deploys chemical catalysts to drive reactions between CO₂ and a standard uncooked materials. This course of creates so-called polymers in a extra sustainable and economically viable approach. CO₂ is firmly included within the course of.
“This nomination is a vital affirmation of our efforts in the direction of making chemistry extra sustainable. It reveals how essential patents are for the event technique of a know-how,” says Christoph Gürtler, who’s answerable for the event of latest processes and merchandise at Covestro. “It’s a super honor to be a part of the award ceremony on behalf of the interdisciplinary group from product analysis, course of improvement, advertising and marketing and the numerous different minds driving our invention.”
Profitable cooperation between trade and science
“The plastics trade could make a big contribution to combating local weather change by switching to greenhouse gas-neutral manufacturing. To realize this, we have to break free from petroleum and use different uncooked supplies corresponding to CO₂”, says Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. “The nomination for the European Inventor Award is an endorsement of our firm as a pioneer on this discipline. I wish to lengthen my honest congratulations to the numerous colleagues, together with these at our companions, who contributed to the event of the modern CO₂ know-how – a real sustainability spotlight.”
The 2 nominees, Gürtler and Leitner, have performed a big position within the improvement and market launch of the platform know-how, which originated within the collaboration between application-oriented science and research-oriented trade. Their involvement in a lot of patents associated to the usage of CO₂ is proof of this: collectively, the 2 maintain over 100 patents on CO₂ know-how.
Breakthrough in catalysis analysis yields success
Covestro and RWTH Aachen College based the CAT Catalytic Middle in 2007. “The scientific group has lengthy had the will to have the ability to use carbon dioxide as a provider of carbon for plastics. Specialists have been engaged on this problem for practically half a century,” explains Walter Leitner.
CO₂ varieties chemical compounds solely with nice issue. That is the issue that Christoph Gürtler and Walter Leitner’s group needed to remedy. The group mixed industrial and educational experience. A substantial amount of creativity, perseverance and lots of experiments with catalysts lastly culminated in success. The breakthrough was achieved by exactly controlling the response between CO₂ and the petroleum-based propylene oxide within the presence of a personalized catalyst system. “We collaborated carefully to develop the suitable catalyst that led us to success,” says Gürtler.
The ensuing so-called polyol was launched to the market by Covestro beneath the product identify cardyon®. It’s already getting used to supply tender foam for mattresses, for adhesives in sports activities flooring, padding in footwear and in automotive interiors. Elastic textile fibers are at present on the edge of market maturity. Analysis tasks have efficiently demonstrated that CO₂ can be deployed for insulating supplies fabricated from inflexible foam and for surfactants, for instance in detergents.
Contributing to useful resource conservation and the round financial system
The usage of CO₂ contributes considerably to the round financial system. Changing typical crude oil as a carbon supply partially with the local weather fuel CO₂ preserves sources. The carbon, in flip, stays within the cycle with out being launched into the ambiance. Furthermore, preliminary research have additionally proven that this know-how makes it attainable to supply extra recyclable plastics whose parts will be extra simply recycled. An all-round sustainable innovation.
Launched in 2006, the European Patent Workplace’s Inventor Award distinguishes excellent European inventors and groups and is likely one of the most prestigious awards of its type. The award ceremony will happen on-line for the primary time on June 17 and will probably be broadcast reside on the Web. Three groups are nominated within the Business class.