Chemical industry will use waste gas from steel factories to make plastics
Europeans join forces on CO2
Research project launched with 14 partners from seven countries / EU supports development of a particularly sustainable process
Carbon4PUR project explores industrial symbiosis between steel and chemical industry to produce polymer foams and polyurethane dispersions for coatings from steel off-gases
This consortium of 14 partners from seven countries, led by Covestro, is now planning to investigate how flue gas from the steel industry can be used to produce plastics in a particularly efficient and sustainable way.
Wednesday – October 18, 2017
Flue gases from steel manufacturing contain a mixture of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, valuable feedstock gases for chemical production. Manufacturing high value polyurethane materials from these flue gases to is the ambition of Carbon4PUR, a 7.8 Mill. Euro Horizon2020 project with 14 partners from 8 countries, coordinated by Covestro.
Cooperation across borders
The new project introduces an unprecedented cooperation extending from the waste gas source to the plastics manufacturers. The European Union is supporting Carbon4PUR under the auspices of SPIRE, the European Public-Private Partnership, dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency enabled by the process industries. Specifically, the project aims to use mixtures of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which are generated during steel production, to produce polyols – key components of polyurethane-based insulating materials and coatings that are otherwise obtained from crude oil.
Significantly smaller carbon footprint
The unique Carbon4PUR technology will valorise steel off-gas without previous cleaning or separation of the gas components. This flexible and energy efficient technology will allow a reduction of the CO2 footprint of polyurethane production by 20-60% and substitution of at least 15% of the oil-based reactants by waste-gas based carbon.
A collaboration between value chain partners and experts
The Carbon4PUR consortium comprises industrial partners along the entire value chain. Flue gas is provided by steel manufacturer Arcelor Mittal to feed the production of polyurethane intermediates at Covestro. Polyurethane manufacturers Recticel N.V. in Belgium and Megara Resins S.A. in Greece are involved as downstream producers, testing the intermediates for the manufacturing of rigid foams and polymer dispersions. The Port of Marseille Fos, an industrial production site for both Covestro and ArcelorMittal, is the model site for which the industrial symbiosis concept will be evaluated.
Leading European research and technology support partners are involved to further develop and evaluate the Carbon4PUR technology: the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission and RWTH Aachen University for process design and catalyst development; Ghent University for flue gas treatment; Leiden University and TU Berlin for life cycle and techno-economic assessment; DECHEMA and Imperial College London for mapping and assessing potential replication sites for the technology; sustainability solutions provider South Pole Group for investigating social impacts and mechanisms for market uptake; and PNO Consultants for value chain and stakeholder analysis.
About Megara Resins
Megara Resins is a specialty chemical company focused on the creation of novel products and processes for the production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks and important building blocks for the paints, coatings, adhesives and printing inks industries. The company’s goal is to produce the same chemicals that are currently produced from petroleum, but to do so from renewable feedstocks, at lower cost, by employing sustainable, low carbon footprint, environmentally friendly process technologies. At Megara Resins, sustainability is the way we manage and operate our business to best serve our customers, care for the environment, secure profits and drive long-term prosperity. By thinking and acting sustainably, we will deliver excellent customer service and strong financial results and position the company for a strong future.
Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.