Scientists around the globe are searching for ways of using the vast amounts of CO2 greenhouse gas released during energy production. The molecule is a very stable one, but Bayer has come up with a process that uses the gas in the manufacture of polyurethanes.
The pilot plant is inaugurated
It has just started up a pilot plant at its Leverkusen site to test the innovation on a technical scale. Bayer is not giving much away at this stage, but says simply that “the plant produces a chemical precursor into which CO2 is incorporated and then processed into polyurethanes… as a result, the waste gas and key contributor to climate change can now be recycled and used as a raw material and substitute for petroleum.”
The innovation is the result of work carried out by Bayer, energy company RWE and RWTH Aachen University. Bayer and the university jointly run the CAT Catalytic Centre, which has developed the breakthrough catalyst used.
If the testing phase goes well, Bayer hopes to have the new process in commercial use by 2105.