Covestro is using its cutting-edge carbon dioxide technology to contribute to a circular economy. For example, Covestro partnered with Australia-based Advanced Polymer Technology (APT) – a leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and artificial turf products – to develop the exclusive Poligras Tokyo GT field hockey surface in conjunction with sports flooring manufacturer Polytan. This product was developed for this summer's major sporting event in Tokyo, using Covestro's CO₂ technology specifically to produce the binder that sits beneath the surface.
The particularly sustainable new material, called cardyon®, is a polyol produced with up to 20 percent CO₂. Covestro brought this groundbreaking technology to market a few years ago. It helps reduce the use of petroleum-based fossil raw material in polyol by up to one-fifth. This is an enormous advance and an innovative contribution to resource conservation and the circular economy for the plastics-producing industry and beyond. cardyon® is manufactured at Covestro's Dormagen site near Cologne, Germany.
"Thanks to Covestro's CO₂ technology and other sustainable components such as renewable raw materials and recycled rubber, this field hockey pitch is one of the most sustainable and technologically advanced surfaces we have developed in the world," says Jim Tritt, COO of Sport Group Asia, which includes APT. "At the same time, it offers premium playability and performance for field hockey players with features that ensure lower surface temperatures and higher ball speeds."
"By increasingly using CO₂ and other alternative raw materials to replace petroleum, we as an industry are making an important contribution to conserving fossil resources," said Dr. Persefoni Hilken, venture manager cardyon® at Covestro. "We are very pleased to work with partners like APT to advance the path toward sustainability and a circular economy with our innovative CO₂ technology, which is being used in more and more applications."
With this technology, carbon dioxide can be reused as a valuable raw material for sustainable plastics. Chemical catalysts are used to drive reactions between CO₂ and a conventional feedstock to produce polyols in a more economical and sustainable way, with the CO₂ firmly chemically incorporated.
Cardyon® is now also used to produce padding for shoes and car interiors, flexible foam for mattresses and adhesives for sports floors. The first prototypes of insulating materials made of rigid foam and surfactants, which are used as detergents, for example, were also recently realized using CO₂ technology.
Last year, Covestro completed the installation of a catwalk with cardyon® polyols in cooperation with Shandong INOV New Materials Co., Ltd. at the Covestro Asia-Pacific Innovation Center in Shanghai. This was the first time the innovative product has been used in a binder for plastic walkways in the Asia-Pacific region.
With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).