Consortium led by Covestro to use waste gas from steel plants to make plastic
Anew consortium of 14 partners from seven countries, led by Covestro, is planning to investigate how flue gas from the steel industry can be used to produce plastics in an efficient and sustainable way.
This new process if developed and commercialised would save crude oil. European Union would provide 8 million euro funding to the cross-sector project called Carbon 4 Pur for a 3 year frame. The industrial partners will leverage this contribution by further investments.
The new project introduces a cooperation extending from the waste gas source to the plastics manufacturer. 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.
The process being developed eliminates the resource intensive step of separating the waste gas into its different components. Instead, the gas mixture will be subjected to a chemocatalytic process and converted directly into building blocks and intermediates for polyurethanes. This can reduce its carbon footprint by 20 to 60 %.
The gas recovery project consortium includes academic and institutional partners such as RWTH Aachen University, TU Berlin, Dechema, Imperial College London, the Universities of Gent and Leiden, the French Commissariat à l’énergieatomique et aux énergies alternatives, South Pole Carbon Asset Management, Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and PNO Innovatieadvies.