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Bayer begins production at CO2 pilot plant

Bayer begins production at CO2 pilot plant
Bayer says it has begun production at a new plant, designed to produce plastics by using carbon dioxide (CO2) from the energy sector.

At the plant in Chempark Leverkuse, researchers from Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and Bayer Technology Services are exploring production of polyether polycarbonate polyols (PPPs) from CO2. The PPPs are then further processed to make polyurethane polymers.

"There is an opportunity to establish Germany as a market leader for these technologies and secure ourselves a leading role in a competitive international environment," said Bayer spokesperson Dr. Wolfgang Plischke. "The inauguration of this pilot plant is another milestone in a long line of Bayer projects that have used innovative technologies to develop sustainable production processes."

The carbon dioxide used in the project comes from RWE Power’s lignite power plant in Niederaussem outside Cologne, Germany.

The process is a result of the Dream Production project. Apart from RWE, other partners include RWTH Aachen University and the CAT Catalytic Center, which is run jointly by the university and Bayer.

Bayer says: “The new process helps to boost sustainability in a number of different ways. For example, carbon dioxide may offer an alternative to petroleum, which has until now been the chemical sector’s main source of the key element carbon. Polyurethanes themselves also help to reduce energy consumption and protect the climate. When used to insulate buildings from cold and heat, they can save approximately 70 times more energy than is used in their production.”