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May 14, 2014

Bayer MaterialScience to invest in commercial-scale CO2-based polyol production

Mary Page Bailey

Following a successful test phase and promising market analysis, Bayer MaterialScience AG (Leverkusen, Germany; www.materialscience.bayer.de) plans to invest €15 million in the construction of a production line at its Dormagen site, which will use CO2 to produce a precursor for premium polyurethane foam. The line will have a production capacity of 5,000 metric tons per year (m.t/yr). The permit application will be submitted to the Cologne district authority in the next few weeks. The objective of the project is to launch the first CO2-based polyols on the market starting in 2016. Processors of polyols and polyurethanes have already expressed considerable interest.

High-quality polyols based on CO2 are not currently available on a commercial scale. The new polyols from Bayer MaterialScience have at least the same high level of quality as conventionally manufactured materials and a more sustainable impact. Using a certain amount of CO2 as a building block enables a reduction in the amount of the petroleum-based raw material propylene oxide, which polyols are normally made entirely from. The CO2 balance of the new process is far better than that of the conventional production method.

“Improving the sustainability of everything we do is an integral part of our business strategy and this principle is implemented in our Dream Production project. We have succeeded in turning a waste gas that is potentially harmful to the climate into a useful raw material. That helps the environment and mankind, and we all benefit,” said Bayer MaterialScience CEO Patrick Thomas.

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