Press release Polymerupdate – Covestro at the world’s leading trade fair for waste and raw materials management IFAT 2022


• Innovative development for chemical recycling processes
• New product applications designed for recycling
• Launch of circular product concepts with Desmodur®CQ


Plastics manufacturer Covestro showcases recycling methods for the circular economy at IFAT. At the joint stand of the German Society for Waste Management (DGAW) (Hall/Stand: A6 125/224), Covestro will present an overview of innovative technological approaches through which plastics in the product portfolio can be mechanically and chemically recycled. Covestro is also a co-exhibitor on the common stand of the VCI (German Chemical Industry Association, Hall/Stand: A6 231), entirely dedicated to the theme of chemical recycling.

Covestro intends to focus entirely on the circular economy. The company is driving the development of innovative, resource-efficient processes to make its products recyclable to achieve this goal. This is why Covestro intends to offer more material solutions based on sustainability and circularity in the markets in which it is active. Covestro’s own technology development focuses on four recycling approaches. In addition to mechanical recycling, already used for high-performance plastic polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), Covestro is developing chemical recycling processes: these include chemolysis, smart pyrolysis and enzymatic recycling. The objective of these processes is to produce virgin material quality recycled plastics while significantly reducing the environmental footprint compared to conventional fossil-based production of polymers and polymer feedstocks. Covestro applies its core competency in chemistry to process development.

“We see ourselves as the engine of the circular economy industry that is currently developing, where the chemical and waste management industries will have to come together in perspective and synergies will have to be created”, explains Markus Steilemann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Covestro. “We are moving forward here with vigor for the whole industry: with different recycling approaches, we can systematically recover the different raw materials that we need for the production of our plastics. Our goal is to fully circularize the materials of the products at the end of their life to save fossil raw materials and greenhouse gas emissions, while offering high-performance recycled materials of virgin quality.” The company plans to invest around one billion euros in circular economy projects by 2030. In Leverkusen, Covestro already operates a pilot plant for the chemical recycling of flexible polyurethane foams.

Additionally, Covestro will demonstrate how circular solutions in the product portfolio can be made even more visible to customers at IFAT Munich. With the “QC” concept, in the future, Covestro will highlight the alternative base of raw materials in the products if it is at least 25%. “CQ” here stands for Circular Intelligence. Among the first “CQ” products, Desmodur®CQ. Desmodur®CQ-based polyurethanes are deployed, for example, in upholstered furniture, mattresses and thermal insulation. They are used, for example, as coatings for cars or household appliances.

“In order to take meaningful climate protection action, we need a change, a paradigm shift, for us, our customers and all other actors in the value chain. At the same time, the benefits must be clear in the application of such solutions.The chemical industry must fundamentally change as a central element of the value chain – towards alternative raw materials and renewable energies”, says Sucheta Govil, Commercial Director of Covestro. “We have set ambitious goals to make our production fully circular and ultimately independent of fossil resources. In doing so, we are helping a wide range of industries reduce the carbon footprint of their own products,” Govil said.


Cooperations contribute to a complete circular economy
New recycling processes and cooperation with partners from industry and research make an important contribution to achieving full circularity. For example, Covestro coordinates the European project “CIRCULAR FOAM” with 22 partners from nine countries. The objective of the project is to develop innovative processes for the chemical recycling of rigid polyurethane foams. As an insulating material, rigid polyurethane foams contribute to the energy efficiency of refrigerators and buildings – but coordinated waste management and proper recycling processes are still lacking for a sustainable life cycle. Chemical recycling could save up to one million tonnes of waste and 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 per year from 2040.

Markus Steilemann and Sucheta Govil at IFAT
To launch IFAT on Monday, May 30, 2022, Sucheta Govil will be the guest of the show’s opening session. The topic will be the role of environmental technologies for a more sustainable future. Attendees will include Founder Mikela Druckman, an AI expert in recycling and a member of the WEF Global Future Council; Teacher. Dr. Erich Zahn, co-author of the Club of Rome report “The Limits to Growth”; Dr. Johannes Kirchhoff, Board of the Circular Economy Initiative of the Federation of German Industries; and Ren Xiaoyuan, (UNEP) Young Champions of the Earth 2020 and founder of the water information network MyH2O.

CEO Markus Steilemann will address the topic “Global Value Creation in the Crisis? The Circular Economy as Europe’s Response” during a BDI panel on Tuesday, May 31 at 2:15 p.m. with Delara Burkhardt, environmental policy spokesperson for the Socialists’ delegation and Democrats in the European Parliament, Dr. Christoph Epping, Head of the Circular Economy Subdivision at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, and Wolfgang Niedermark, member of the board of the BDI. On Wednesday, June 1, Markus Steilemann will introduce at 12:15 p.m. the round table “Chemistry for circular mobility: chemical recycling as a constituent element of the creation of circular value for the automobile?” with experts from Audi, Covestro and TU Dortmund University.

Covestro at IFAT 2022 in Munich, Germany
• DGAW stand (Hall/Stand: A6 125/224) and VCI stand (Hall/Stand: A6 231)
• Monday 30 May, 11:50 am – 1:00 pm: Opening panel “How to create change? – From Activism and Politics to Environmental Solutions and Impacts” with Sucheta Govil (Forum Water Hall C3. 139/238)
• Tuesday May 31, 2:15 p.m., (Hall C6, Room C62a, BDI Circular Economy Initiative), and Wednesday June 1, 2022 (12:15 p.m., Hall A5 | 317/416 | Waste / Secondary Materials Forum): Markus Steilemann visits IFAT

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company contributes to improving sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key sectors such as mobility, construction and housing, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, Covestro’s polymers are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and strives to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of €15.9 billion in fiscal year 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated in time equivalents full).

Note: This story has not been edited by the Polymerupdate editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

Comments are closed.