Econic Technologies continues global development of CO2-containing polyols market with new India partnership

The agreement with Manali Petrochemicals Limited will see the Indian market leader retrofit an existing production facility to commercialise Econic’s carbon-to-value technology.


London, 19 July 2022 – Econic Technologies, the UK’s deep-tech carbon-to-value pioneer, has today announced the finalisation of a Joint Development and Technology Transfer Agreement with Manali Petrochemicals Limited (MPL), the market leader and only integrated polyol producer in India.

The signing of the legal agreement sets the next stage of the Econic-MPL partnership to scale up and manufacture CO2 containing polyols initially in Manali’s demo scale facilities, followed by retrofit of Manali’s 12,000+ industrial scale reactors with Econic’s proprietary process. Both companies are aligned to drive the commercialisation of CO2 containing polyols for use in essential polyurethane products to meet consumer demand.

The agreement consolidates the Memorandum of Understanding the two organisations entered into last year and represents a significant step in the global scale-up of Econic Technologies and its catalyst and process technology. It also reflects the Indian market-leader’s vote of confidence in Econic in the company’s ground-breaking technology. The future reaching long-term partnership is of strategic importance for both companies and presents important opportunities to respond to customer demand for sustainable options of CO2 containing products.

Ashwin Mutiah | Chairman, AM International, Keith Wiggins | CEO, Econic Technologies, Ravi Muthukrishnan | Managing Director, MPL, Hugo Chardon | Head of Strategy, AM Investcorp

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, said of the new agreement:“We appreciate this next development in our partnership with MPL and the opportunity to work with them as a pioneering licensee of Econic’s technology in one of the biggest and fastest growing geographies. There is undeniable momentum for solutions that meet consumer demand for more sustainable products made using waste CO2, and we’re delighted to be leading the way together in this area.”

Ashwin Mutiah, Chair of AM International, Manali’s parent company said: “Science and innovation will play a key role in ensuring that our manufacturing plants implement eco-friendly and cost-efficient technology. MPL’s partnership with Econic Technologies brings significant R&D-led improvements to the production process. Alongside delivering a greener product to our customers, it reaffirms our ESG commitment towards a carbon neutral planet.”


Please get in touch for more information, or to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Econic Technologies appoints a new CEO as it enters its next phase

Catalyst technology company, Econic Technologies, has appointed Keith Wiggins as its new CEO to lead the next stage scale up and commercialisation of the business.


The leader in CO2 utilisation technology, Econic Technologies, has today announced the appointment of Keith Wiggins as its new CEO. Wiggins will take over from Dr Rowena Sellens who will retire after eight years of leadership, having taken the company to its market-leading position from a spin-out start up. The firm is now ready to scale the commercialisation of its unique catalyst technology amongst customers looking to achieve net zero carbon and core sustainability objectives.

The key next stages in this process are to progress key partnerships alongside a forthcoming fund raise on the back of recently secured investment from existing shareholders and the UK government’s Future Fund.

Wiggins brings broad experience of successfully running advanced manufacturing businesses and commercialising technologies across global markets. His international career spans senior leadership positions with leading multinationals and early stage companies.

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: ‘It is an honour to be joining Econic Technologies at a time when the business is poised to scale and commercialize. Rowena and the team have developed a world class technology that brings environmental, cost and performance benefits to customers, at a time when the world is demanding sustainable solutions for CO2. I look forward to being part of the growth story ahead.’

Wiggins replaces the retiring Dr Rowena Sellens, who was appointed in 2014 and oversaw Econic Technologies’ initial funding rounds; the launch of a UK-first customer demonstration facility; and the conclusion of the firm’s first joint development agreements, including a partnership with Drax. Dr Sellens will use her retirement to explore a number of non-executive roles.

Dr Rowena Sellens, former CEO, commented: ‘Overseeing the growth of Econic Technologies has been a real labour of love. Thanks to the incredible hard work of a team that I was so proud to lead, the business has gone from strength to strength. I am very happy to be passing the reins to Keith, who brings fresh perspectives and deep experience that will help the catalyst complete the final stages of commercialisation. I wish him well, and look forward to watching the firm’s continued growth.’


For more information contact:

Mr Leigh S Taylor, Head of Sales & Licensing
+44 (0)1625 238 645 | l.taylor@econic-technologies.com


Get in touch to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.

Author, Econic

CO2nversations – Michael Kember

As Econic grows significantly and moves towards commercialisation, so too do our scientific innovations. These technological developments form part of the foundation, and the future, of our company, so it’s important that we protect them, in the same way that you would your house or car. This is where Dr Michael Kember, our Head of Research and Intellectual Property, and also a co-founder of Econic, steps in.

Mike determines the direction that our research team take in the development of new generations of catalysts and CO2-containing polymeric products, not only in terms of the fundamental scientific developments, but also in their protection as Econic’s intellectual property. This task requires Mike and the team to have a forensic understanding of the current IP landscape to see where and how Econic fits in, and the directions  future technology innovations can take. “It is important that we protect our catalyst technologies at all stages of development.” Mike states, “This protection is crucial in establishing the place of our unique catalyst systems’ foothold in the market. It also allows our customers the freedom to use these technologies in their own business processes, opening up the advantages of CO2-based polyols and materials.”

Econic’s IP portfolio is an ever-evolving, growing collection, currently consisting of more than 30 granted patents that span from polymerisation catalysts and the processes used in our technology, to enhanced polyurethane products made using CO2-containing polyols. This portfolio will only continue to diversify as we develop new generations of our catalyst technologies for use in the polyols for the polyurethane market, and, looking ahead, to wider plastics markets. The potential is far-reaching and we are only just scratching the surface.


Get in touch to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

CO2nversations – Tom Lynch

Industrial placements are invaluable – to both undergraduate students and companies. Students are offered the chance to use their theoretical knowledge in real world technical applications, as well as gain transferable skills in working in industry and, of course, being exposed to a plethora of new scientific concepts and skills. For companies, in particular SMEs like Econic, we have the opportunity to work with motivated students from a range of backgrounds who bring new skills and creative ideas to a growing technical team.

One of our current industrial placement students is Tom Lynch, who is spending the fourth year of his Chemical Engineering degree at Loughborough University as a member of our Process Development team. Guided by our process development experts, Tom has played an instrumental role in the development of our downstream polyol processing and the transfer of these processes from the lab to pilot scale, as well as the generation of valuable data to help our customers efficiently scale their use of our technologies. Tom has found working in Econic’s continually developing environment to be most rewarding: “The smaller team size means that I’ve had the opportunities for more responsibilities and opportunities than those of my classmates who work at much larger companies, especially since I have been able to work on projects in both the lab and at the Customer Demonstration Facility.”

As we move closer to the commercialisation of our catalyst technologies, the downstream process development and transfer of our systems from the lab to plant scales are a vital step in helping our customers to realise the full potential of incorporating waste CO2 into their polyol and downstream plastics applications.


Get in touch to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Happy birthday to the UK’s first customer demonstration facility!

It has been a year since we opened the doors to our customer demonstration facility in Runcorn – the very first of its kind in the UK – to demonstrate how our pioneering catalyst technology can create polyols using waste CO2. It would be safe to say that, in this time, a fantastic buzz has sprung up around the plant, not just from our fellow members of The Heath, but from across the plastics industry.

So far, we’ve had visits from 60 leading global companies within the polyurethane industry, as well as Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham, the Metro Mayors of Manchester and Liverpool. The team of 7 at the facility has been busy producing polyol samples for all of the interested parties, who are testing the added value that our technology will incorporate into their own downstream polyurethane applications – everything from CO2-based insulation foams, to coatings and elastomers.

Over the course of the year, activity at the plant has helped our pioneering catalyst technology move out of the lab and onto the factory floor, demonstrating the huge economic and positive potential of CO2 for manufacturers.

Importantly for polyurethane producers, our facility uses a conventional reactor design and widely-available downstream technology, which shows just how readily existing plants can be retrofitted to use our catalyst. But unlike existing plants, our facility enables manufacturers to create CO2-containing polyols at lower pressures and temperatures, which not only allows for much safer operation, but also leads to significant cost savings. Producing everyday goods from CO2 may have once sounded like science fiction, but our facility has demonstrated that it is now science fact.

In the coming months, the facility will continue to fire on all cylinders. We look forward to welcoming more customers to the facility to further demonstrate the economic, environmental and product potential of our catalyst technology and how easily the use of waste CO2 as a raw material can be adopted, and its advantages realised by the polyurethane industry.

Happy birthday, customer demonstration facility! Here’s to another fantastic year ahead.


Get in touch to learn more about our Customer Demonstration Facility and to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Turning ‘bad’ plastics into a global opportunity

A blanket ban on all kinds of plastics is unfeasible and unworkable.

One need only look out their window to see first-hand evidence of the plastics pollution we currently face. It was reported in 2017 (Geyer, Sci. Adv.) that since 1950 around 6300 million metric tonnes of plastic waste have been created. Of this enormous amount of waste, a mere 9% has been recycled and 12% incinerated, with the remaining 79% ending up in landfills or oceans. Despite numerous advantages, many related to energy and resource efficiency, the detrimental effects of “single use” plastics are indisputable, and clearly things need to change with regards to consumer demand and use of these disposable materials.

Chemically speaking and as defined by IUPAC, a plastic is a “polymeric material that may contain other substances to improve performance or reduce costs”. We therefore question the broad classification of single use plastics being ‘bad’ and instead suggest that the issue we face is the bad use of plastics. Even those plastics deemed ‘bad’, like polypropylene and polyethylene, are ideal for the purposes, like disposable bottles, supermarket bags, and plastic packaging, with which they are now associated – it is their impact post use that causes controversy. These plastics, and many others, also have uses inherent to our daily lives with lifetimes of twenty or more years that we cannot discount. Polypropylene is used in thermal undergarments, as well as in reusable plastic containers. Polyethylene makes up many industrial machine components and artificial joints. These subsets of applications offer significant positive impact that more than offsets their current ‘bad’ reputation.


Overcoming the ‘bad use’ of plastics

The necessary shift in our approach to overcoming our bad use of plastics is the responsibility of all those in the plastics chain – the industry, the users, and the government. Luckily this change in mindset is already underway. Users are becoming more conscientious in their use of multiple-use alternatives to common plastic products and the ways in which they recycle waste. Increasing numbers of multinational companies, including Ikea, Coca Cola and McDonalds, have committed to ensuring that their plastics are both recyclable or compostable, and incorporate increasing proportions of recycled plastic. Several government bodies are introducing levies or bans on some of the most problematic plastic items, like bags, straws and microbeads, as well as funding of research towards recyclable alternatives. There is also significant work in many areas of the plastics industry itself to make plastics in more environmentally conscientious ways – whether in the precursors used, many of which are typically petrochemical in origin, in the efficiency of manufacture, or in their ability to be more easily recycled.


Polyurethane – A case study

Flexible foams add comfort to our lives in the form of memory foam mattresses.

Polyurethane (PU) is present in our daily lives in more ways than one might expect. This plastic, the third most widely used behind polyolefins and PVC, accounts for approximately 10% of all plastics produced, and is forecast to generate close to $80 billion worldwide by 2021, or 20 million tonnes annually (Ceskaa, 2017). Rigid foams make up the insulation in our walls, which facilitate a decrease in heat loss of ~60% when compared to other insulative materials (Kingspan, 2018). Flexible foams add comfort to our lives in the form of memory foam mattresses. Coatings protect our clothing, wooden floors and vehicles to extend their useful life. Adhesives stop our shoes from falling apart. Elastomers make up the wheels that allow us to open drawers and ride rollercoasters. Simply put, the stability and durability of PU in any one of its forms is essential in protecting us and our essential items from wear and tear and the elements.

 


Alternatives to PU

The production of PU is an energy and petrochemically intensive process – replacing this material with alternative biodegradable/natural/energetically less demanding materials is a natural initial response. Certainly, one could envisage replacing PU insulation (160 kg CO2 emitted / kgCO2e), with a less carbon intensive material like cork (-155 kgCO2e), glass fibre (8 kgCO2e), or mineral wool (38 kgCO2e) (superhomes.org.uk). In these examples, however, more than twice the material is required to prevent the same amount of heat loss as PU, so the performance of these long lifetime materials with regards to their stability, flexibility, lifetime, handling and fitness for purpose must also be evaluated. When considering natural alternatives to PU, we also mustn’t forget to factor in the environmental and societal effects of these materials, like import costs, land and water intensive agricultural demand that competes with food crops, the need for fertilisers and pesticides, or the waste profile associated with such materials. When considering each of these points, the greening of PU production becomes a superior approach to offsetting its overall carbon and environmental footprint.

The historical production of PU and its precursors was heavily dependent on volatile organic compounds and petrochemical-based feedstocks, both of which are being addressed by new and existing companies worldwide. One of the biggest contributors to the use of petrochemical-based feedstocks in PU manufacture is the polyols inherent to its chemical structure. These polymers are most commonly polyether in nature and are prepared from the catalysed polymerisation of ethylene or propylene oxide. These epoxides are industrially synthesised from the carbon intensive oxidation or hydrochlorination of the corresponding alkene, which is collected as a by-product of oil refinement and which has an enormous carbon footprint. The potential replacement of some or all of this epoxide feedstock is clearly an effective approach to greening polyol production.


Plant-based polyols

Increasing numbers of natural polyols based on plant oils or compounds are being developed industrially. Oil-based polyols can be prepared from a range of natural oils, such as castor, cashew, peanut or soy, with castor oil being one of the few natural products that does not require chemical modification. Alternatively, bio-based succinic acid polyols can be prepared from the fermentation of sugar. These polyols, in particular bio-based polyols, do offer advantages to downstream PU products over their wholly petrochemical-based counterparts in terms of increased abrasion resistance, tensile strength, thermal properties and hardness. As in the case of natural alternatives to PU however, these polyols also run into agricultural shortcomings, especially in competing with food crops for land use, as well as dependence on variable and uncontrollable factors like weather and seasons. As such, when processing and purifying the polyols, it can be difficult to produce constant quantities for downstream use. Furthermore, natural oil-based polyols require additional processing to remove odour, and typically must be blended with traditional petrochemical-based polyols to achieve comparable properties.


Using CO2 as a feedstock

An abundance of atmospheric CO2 presents another environmental issue that we currently face. It would therefore offer a win-win situation if petrochemical-based polyol feedstocks could utilise an otherwise waste material – for every tonne of epoxide replaced by CO2, three tonnes of CO2 would be avoided or utilised (Bardow, Green Chem.). Assuming 50% market adoption of such technologies, these numbers correspond to savings of ten million tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent to taking six million cars off the road or planting twelve million trees, that is, significant savings. Such polyols, known as polyethercarbonates, are the focus of a small, but increasing, number of companies. These new technologies differ in the amounts of CO2 that can be incorporated into polyols, but with a theoretical maximum of 50 mol%, significant environmental advantages are clearly possible. We at Econic have taken this approach one step further: our catalyst technologies allow for the bespoke incorporation of CO2 into polyols at industrially relevant temperatures and pressures, thereby allowing polyol producers to tailor their products for their downstream PU needs. What’s more is that the incorporation of CO2 also offers significant product advantages – the resultant rigid foams have improved flame retardance, whilst coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers show increases in their chemical, temperature and hydrolytic resistances. Economically, waste CO2 is expected to be at least an order of magnitude cheaper than its petrochemical-based counterparts. Irrefutable advantages are achievable in all aspects of the production of these green polyols, benefits which are in turn passed through to the PU industry and their consumers.


Moving towards responsible plastics

Existing materials need to be made ‘greener’.

Frankly speaking, we cannot, and should not, remove plastics from our lives. The positive energy and application impacts that they impart simply cannot be reproduced by natural alternatives. Manufacturers and users alike can have a huge influence on reducing the ‘bad’ impact of plastics and shifting the balance towards ‘good’. We must urgently address how efficiently we use each plastic and move away from a ‘use and dispose’ mentality. Furthermore, plastics should be manufactured so as to not further perturb the state of our environment, but also to utilise the abundance of harmful waste products we have already created. As in the case of increasingly green PU, green and recyclable alternatives to many of the other plastics we rely on are being developed worldwide. The issue we now face is the wait for these new technologies to be adopted on a large scale by the industry, so that the plastics products so essential to our lives move towards being responsible materials.


To learn more about the endless potential that Econic’s catalyst technology can bring to greener plastics and waste CO2, please contact:
Richard French, Business Development Director on +44 1625 238 645


This blog was first posted by Plastic News Europe on 17/09/2018.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

UK’s first carbon capture utilisation demonstration plant opens its doors

The opening event was held on March 1st at The Heath. In attendance was John Lewis, Managing Director of SOG, pictured here with Dr Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic.

Clean-tech pioneer Econic Technologies has opened a first-of-its-kind plant in the UK to demonstrate to customers how its innovative catalyst technologies can convert CO2 into polyols, which can then be used to make more sustainable polyurethanes for use in products such as automobiles, bedding and footwear.

The new plant is located in Runcorn, at The Heath, one of the UK’s leading independently-owned business and technical parks. It comprises all elements of the production process, integrated from reaction through to final product treatment, in a bespoke industrial unit. Opening its new plant at The Heath demonstrates Econic Technologies’ long term commitment to the North West following its relocation from London to Cheshire in 2017, with the company adding 12 new jobs across its two Cheshire locations since the move.

The new demonstration plant is an exciting step forward in Econic Technologies’ journey to help manufacturers unlock the positive potential of waste CO2.  Until now, the creation of polyols from CO2 has been performed in plants at high-pressures and temperatures. Thanks to its new tunable catalyst technology, Econic Technologies’ plant will be able to produce samples of CO2-based polyols at lower, industrially relevant temperatures and pressures.

The launch of the plant comes just weeks after Econic announced that they had closed a major founding round which saw climate investment group OGCI Ventures coming on board alongside existing investors. As well as private capital investment, the demonstration plant has also received substantial European support through a Horizon 2020 SME Award. Rulande Rutgers, Head of Process and Product Engineering at Econic Technologies explains: “Securing such highly competitive public funding has been an important vote of confidence for Econic Technologies, and is allowing the company to accelerate development pace. Using some of this funding for the new demonstration plant is one way it is helping turn the potential of our catalysts into reality.”

Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: “The demonstration plant is essential to helping our pioneering catalyst technologies develop as they move out of the lab and into the factory. As a company, we want to help drive the market adoption of polyols and our new plant provides an opportunity for us to encourage significant uptake in the industry. The interest from polyol manufacturers and downstream polyol users in the plant has been overwhelming already. We are extremely confident that once we start demonstrating what our technology can do, we will help catalyse a transformation in attitude when it comes to the positive potential of carbon.”

Econic Technologies’ catalysts enable manufacturers to reuse waste CO2, by allowing it to be incorporated as a feedstock, which offers not only a sustainable benefit by reducing the reliance on fossil fuels but also an economical benefit by enhancing margins. The company hopes that by 2027, 30% of all polyol production will take place using Econic’s catalyst technologies, which could save 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year – the equivalent to taking two million cars off the road.


For further information, please contact:
Alex Kane, Farrer Kane: +44 (0) 20 7415 7154 | alex@farrerkane.com
Max Jewell, Farrer Kane: +44 (0) 20 7415 7154 | maxjewell@farrerkane.com

For more information on Econic or to inquire about our catalyst technologies, please contact:
Richard French, Business Development Director Econic Technologies | +44 1625 238 645

 

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Econic Technologies raises £7m for pioneering technology to help fight climate change

British catalyst technology company, Econic Technologies, announces the successful completion of its latest round of fundraising. The total amount raised is £7m with first-time investment from OGCI Climate Investments, alongside additional funds from existing shareholders: IP Group plc and Woodford Investment Management. The funding will be used to help further develop Econic’s pioneering catalyst technologies, which unlock the positive potential of waste CO2 by allowing it to be incorporated as a feedstock thereby enhancing margins and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. The team hopes that by 2027, 30% of all polyol production will take place using Econic’s catalyst technologies, meaning that potentially 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved each year – the equivalent to taking some two million cars off the road.

In addition to the funds from Econic’s existing shareholders, this latest investment round brings backing from OGCI Climate Investments, the one billion-dollar investment fund created by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a voluntary initiative led by CEOs of ten global oil and gas companies. The OGCI Climate Investments fund invests in promising technologies and business models that have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that are commercially viable and scalable. Working with OGCI Climate Investments means that Econic Technologies will have access to an impressive network of oil and gas experts, opening the door to future opportunities for the global market to benefit from the positive potential of its catalyst technologies.

Due to the interest expressed by a number of strategic investors, the company has the facility to issue a number of additional shares within a limited time window following this close.

Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: “This latest round of funding will help drive Econic Technologies’ continuing growth, and enable us to transform more waste CO2 into powerful economic and product performance advantages while reducing environmental impact.

“As the catalysts move from our labs to our customer’s factory floor, the funding will be vital to ensure that manufacturers around the world are able to benefit from our pioneering technologies. We are delighted that our investors are prepared to give us the flexibility to bring one or two strategic investors on board and benefit from the additional expertise they can offer at this exciting stage.”

Kelsey Lynn Skinner at IP Group Plc commented: “Econic continues to make strong progress with its transformational catalyst technologies and we are pleased to continue to play a pivotal role in helping the company to realise this potential.”

Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Climate Investments commented: “We believe that CO2 utilisation in products is an important pathway to capture carbon, resulting in a more sustainable future. Econic Technologies’ catalyst is a step in the right direction and we look forward to supporting them as they grow.”


For further information, please contact:
Alex Kane, Farrer Kane: +44 (0) 20 7415 7154 | alex@farrerkane.com
Max Jewell, Farrer Kane: +44 (0) 20 7415 7154 | maxjewell@farrerkane.com

For more information on Econic or to inquire about our catalyst technologies, please contact:
Richard French, Business Development Director Econic Technologies | +44 1625 238 645

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Polyurethane: The Bright, Green Future

2017 was a momentous year for science and technology. It marked the 25th anniversary of the first SMS sent; the 75th anniversary of the first nuclear chain reactor; and 150 years since dynamite was patented. Tucked away amongst these milestones, but of no less importance, was the 80th anniversary of the discovery of polyurethane.

It is unlikely that Otto Bayer and his team appreciated the future significance of their discovery when they landed upon the polycondensation reaction inherent to polyurethane preparation whilst investigating synthetic and cheaper alternatives to rubber. It is equally possible that the potential of this new product was still not fully appreciated when, in 1948, DuPont manufactured the first commercially available rigid foam for insulation. Nonetheless, the development of polyurethane has had far-reaching and long-standing influence as it moved out of the lab and became, perhaps unbeknownst to most, a consumer staple.

By the end of World War II, for example, polyurethane was already being manufactured on a large scale for use as protective coatings. Rapid developments in the field enabled significant advancements in the applications possible for polyurethanes, which are now being developed by a number of companies worldwide – by 2019, it is expected that total revenues will reach USD$54.2 billion. Over time, we have seen the incorporation of polyurethane into all manner of applications – from beer barrel insulation, shoe soles, spandex, and spacesuit lining, to surfboards, footballs, FDA-approved artificial hearts and (for a limited time only) swimsuits.

Polyurethane has clearly gone from strength to strength over the past 80 years, but what does the future hold? Simply put, the future is bright – the future is green.


A green alternative

The climate change challenge – and the attendant social and political pressures – have resulted in a concerted push by manufacturers to cut emissions and reduce the environmental footprint of the heavily petrochemical and volatile organic compound-based materials used to make polyurethane. Ultimately, this is a change that also offers significant economic benefit upon replacing expensive feedstocks with a cheaper, natural alternative. In the last ten years, the industry has seen the introduction of sustainable polyols prepared using a variety of plant- and bio-based materials. While a step in the right direction, these feedstocks are inherently dependent on season and weather, so we must also consider the regulatory and ethical concerns of taking agricultural effort away from food sources, which may present a barrier to entry of these technologies in developing countries. A feedstock that is a waste product of other industrial processes would thus offer a holy grail to polyol synthesis. One such chemical springs immediately to mind: carbon dioxide.

Consequently, scientists and polyurethane manufacturers across the globe are exploring ways in which to utilise CO2, one significant development of which is catalysts that facilitate its incorporation into polyols. This new technology not only replaces a significant amount of oil-based feedstocks with CO2, but also prevents further carbon emissions – saving money and the planet. What’s more, advantages of CO2-containing polyurethane can be seen through improvements in the flame retardance of rigid foams, and increases in the chemical, temperature and hydrolytic resistance of coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers.


From waste to staple

These catalyst technologies have the potential to transform CO2 from a harmful waste product into a valuable staple of the polyurethane industry. At Econic Technologies, we have taken this one step further: our pioneering tunable catalyst enables our customers to select the amount of CO2 incorporated into, and thereby the properties of, their resultant polyols. Furthermore, these polymerisation reactions can occur at much lower pressures than other similar systems, so our customers can retrofit the technology to their existing assets with an estimated pay back within only two years.

Capable of saving 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year (assuming 50 per cent market adoption) – the equivalent to taking six million cars off the road – our catalyst technology is part of the revolution that is adding significant value to the carbon recycling economy, and fundamentally reshaping modern plastics manufacturing. As we celebrate polyurethane’s 80th birthday, we confidently look forward to a bright, green future.


To learn more about the endless potential that Econic’s catalyst technology can bring to waste CO2, check out how Econic can make this possible, or contact us for more information.


This blog was first posted by British Plastics & Rubber on 05/02/2018.

Photo of Otto Bayer courtesy of Bayer.

Author, Anthea Blackburn

Econic Technologies is Named in the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 Ones to Watch List

Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK – November 7, 2017: Econic Technologies, a chemical company that supplies pioneering catalyst systems capable of incorporating bespoke amounts of waste carbon dioxide into polymers for use in the plastics industry, today announced it was named in the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 Ones to Watch list, produced by Cleantech Group (CTG).

The GCT100 Ones to Watch list seeks to highlight a group of up-and-coming companies that are catching the eye of leading investors and corporates in the market. The companies listed made the top 250 in this year’s Global Cleantech 100 program and carry pockets of strong support among the GCT100’s Expert Panel, albeit they did not have quite enough market support (yet!) to make the 9th edition of the Global Cleantech 100 list itself (which will be published on January 22, 2018). As such, these companies represent this year’s Ones to Watch.

“The Global Cleantech 100 program is our annual in-depth research exercise to identify the innovation companies leading players in the market are most excited by right now,” said CTG’s CEO, Richard Youngman. “By the nature of the list, the Ones to Watch truly represent the next cadre of exciting disruptive companies.”

“We are delighted with this recognition of the potential of our catalyst systems to benefit not only the environment with regards to the utilisation and reduction of waste carbon dioxide, but also the economy in terms of the value we can add to our customers’, and their customers’, existing products,” said Rowena Sellens, Econic’s CEO.

This year, a record number of nominations for the annual Global Cleantech 100 list were received: 12,300 distinct companies from 61 countries. These companies were weighted and scored to create a short list of 312 companies, with these nominees reviewed by the 86 members of Cleantech Group’s Expert Panel. The Ones to Watch list, a sister list to the annual Global Cleantech 100 list, is created from the top 250 of the shortlist. To qualify for either list, companies must be independent, for-profit cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange.

The complete list of the Global Cleantech 100 Ones to Watch list was revealed on November 7, 2017. See the full list at https://i3connect.com/gct100/watch-list

The complete list of Global Cleantech expert panel members is available at https://i3connect.com/gct100/panelist

About Cleantech Group
Founded in 2002, the mission of Cleantech Group (CTG) is to accelerate sustainable innovation. Our subscriptions, events and programs are all designed to help corporates, investors, and all players in the innovation ecosystem discover and connect with the key companies, trends, and people in the market. Our coverage is global, spans the entire clean technology theme and is relevant to the future of all industries. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with a growing international presence in London.
Our parent company, Enovation Partners, one of Consulting Magazine‘s 2017 Seven Small Jewels, is based in Chicago (learn more at www.enovationpartners.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Heather Matheson
Cleantech Group
Tel: +1 (415) 233-9714
Email: heather.matheson@cleantech.com

ECONIC CONTACT:
Richard French, Business Development Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1625 238645
Email: R.French@econic-technologies.com

Author, Anthea Blackburn