Econic Technologies has today published the findings of an independent lifecycle assessment (LCA) of its technology by PRé Sustainability. This work has certified that the use of its catalyst technology reduces CO2 emissions by 30% compared with the traditional manufacture of polyols, which are used in the production of polyurethane, a ubiquitous and essential material.
The world consumes 11 million tonnes of polyol in polyurethane products per year, a multi-functional material used in a host of diverse everyday applications. Econic Technologies’ catalyst technology turns CO2 into useful carbon, allowing producers to incorporate it into their products, replacing oil-based feedstocks. The assessment is an important validation of Econic’s innovative technology, supporting the commercialisation of its catalyst as its customers drive to achieve net zero.
The lifecycle assessment found that for every tonne of CO2 used as a raw material, at least three tonnes of emissions are avoided, primarily due to a significant reduction in the requirement for energy-intensive traditional raw materials. The impact of the technology when adopted across the key polyurethane sector is a reduction of CO2 equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the road or planting 189 million trees per year.
As well as offering clear environmental benefits, Econic’s catalyst technology also enhances the performance of end products. For example, insulation products become even more carbon negative over their lifetime, whilst also keeping homes warmer and food cooler as well as offering improved flame resistance. Flexible foams, used in products like mattresses and cushions, typically last longer, whilst coatings and elastomers also become more durable, thereby increasing the lifespan of buildings, textiles and essential equipment.
Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, said: “With COP26 approaching, it is appropriate to showcase how to create sustainable value from captured carbon emissions. This independent lifecycle assessment demonstrates that Econic’s carbon-to-value technology will grow in importance, contributing strongly to the decarbonisation agenda.
As consumers drive demand for more sustainable products, with regulatory reform and greater social responsibility, greater numbers of manufacturers are decarbonising their supply chains. Econic Technologies offers these businesses an innovative solution. Manufacturers are able to bring their customers more sustainable, higher-performing and more cost-effective products today using CO2.“
Professor Nilay Shah, Head of the Chemical Engineering department at Imperial College London, who reviewed the LCA before publication as an independent expert in low carbon process technologies, said: “As the CCUS sector grows in economic and political importance, systematic and independent LCAs will be vital in underpinning confidence in the sector.
Econic is one of the early pioneers in the sector and so the positive LCA is not just an endorsement of its catalyst, but in the validity of the CCUS as an industry.“
About Econic’s Lifecycle Assessment
Econic commissioned PRé Sustainability, to run an independent lifecycle assessment (LCA) of its innovative polyol production process, which replaces up to 35 wt% of traditional and expensive oil-based raw materials with captured CO2. The environmental impacts of Econic’s polyol production process were compared to those of traditional polyols in a cradle-to-gate assessment, and considered raw material production, raw material transportation, and polyol manufacture. The study was critically reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure compliance to ISO standards 14040 and 14044.
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