José Fonseca from Covestro attending KT Consortium Annual Meetings.  Photo Christian Ove Carlsson

CO2 becomes a useful raw material

Covestro is a leading supplier of premium polymers. Recently, the company has substituted fossil raw materials previously used to manufacture polyols for the waste gas CO2.

“Currently, we produce polyols that are made with up to 20 per cent CO2. The substitution does not only save fossil raw materials. Since the oil doesn’t have to be refined, the overall production costs less energy and thereby becomes further sustainable – and CO2 is given a new use,” says Dr. José Fonseca, process optimization specialist with Covestro Deutschland AG.

Implementing new processes including use of biomass and CO2 as raw material requires extensive research. This was partly the motivation for Covestro’s decision to join the KT-Consortium one year ago.

“In our own laboratories, we have done extensive experiments over the last 30 or 40 years, providing us with data for all systems relevant to our main products. But as we move into these new innovative solutions, we will sometimes find ourselves without data. This is where software like ICAS comes in very handy,” José Fonseca explains.

The ICAS software (Integrated Computer Aided System) is one of the main KT-Consortium deliverables. The software combines computer-aided tools for modelling, simulation, property prediction, synthesis/design, control and analysis into a single integrated system.