BMS begins construction of CO2 production line in Domagen

Bayer MaterialScience(BMS) is constructing a new production line for producing carbon dioxide (CO2) for plastics in its Domagen site in Germany, and which it expects to come on stream in 2016.

A chemical reactor weighing some 25 metric tonnes has now been put in place at the heart of this line. The last major part - a CO2 tank - is due to be installed in the fall. This will take the construction of the EUR 15 million plant into the homestretch.Dr. Karsten Malsch, overall project manager says that the construction is right on schedule.

BMS intends to use the new production line as part of the "Dream Production" project and for the first time, integratesCO2 as a raw material for polyols on a commercial scale. Polyols are crucial precursors for manufacturing foam. The line is designed for an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tonnes. The idea is for the innovative polyol, which contains approximately 20% CO2, to initially be used in the manufacture of polyurethane foam mattresses.

Intensive tests have shown that the material using CO2 is at least as good as conventional products. The carbon dioxide replaces some of the petroleum that these kinds of polyols and polyurethanes are usually based on. In order to use CO2 in plastics production, BMS has worked with the CAT Catalytic Centre, a research institute at Aachen University. The greatest challenge lay in finding a catalyst that would cause the carbon dioxide, which is chemically very inert, to react efficiently with other substances. The partners discovered the appropriate catalyst, says BMS.

The research and development work is still ongoing: BMS says it hopes to further increase the proportion of CO2 in the products in the future. At the same time, it also aims to increase the number of CO2-based plastics.


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