The Carbon4PUR project explores produces polymer foams and coatings from steel off-gases.
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 is the ambition of Carbon4PUR, a 7.8 million euro Horizon2020 project with 14 partners from 8 countries, coordinated by Covestro.
The unique Carbon4PUR technology valorises steel off-gas without previous cleaning or the separation of gas components. This flexible and energy efficient technology will allow a reduction of the CO2 footprint of polyurethane production by 20-60% and will substitute at least 15% of the oil-based reactants by waste-gas based carbon.
Collaboration of value chain partners
The Carbon4PUR consortium comprises of 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 develop and evaluate the Carbon4PUR technology: the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission and RWTH Aachen 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; PNO Consultants for value chain and stakeholder analysis.
"The Carbon4PUR technology gives opportunity to the industry to become less fossil fuel dependent and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Therese Wesström of South Pole Group. "South Pole Group will evaluate Carbon4PUR's social values, benefits and impacts including quantifying the social and environmental impacts related to the Sustainable Development Goals. We will also conduct an assessment of carbon market tools and mechanisms for market uptake."
About Horizon2020: 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.