Chemical conversion of CO2
We researched the sustainable use of CO2 in collaboration with Bayer MaterialScience and Bayer Technology Services as well as RWTH Aachen University. The "Dream Production" project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, examined whether high-quality plastics – so-called polyurethanes – can be made from of the CO2 from power plant flue gases. In plastics of this type the carbon dioxide is permanently chemically bound.
For the project, the CO2 scrubber at the Coal Innovation Centre was retrofitted with a plant for cleaning and liquefying carbon dioxide. In this plant, the gas is filled into cylinders, which are made available to the project partners so that they can investigate its usability for chemical synthesis.
Here, power plant CO2 was used in a pilot system at Bayer Technology Services to make polyether polycarbonate polyols (PPP for short) which was then further processed by Bayer MaterialScience to make polyurethane plastics. Apart from being used in building insulation, light-weight components of polyurethanes make a contribution to lowering weight, for example in the automotive industry and help thus to achieve significant energy savings. But polyurethanes are also a part of everyday life, as material in high-quality mattresses and upholstered furniture.