This year was the 64th Technical Conference for the Centre for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI). Taking place annually, this is a key fixture for North American polyurethane manufacturers, suppliers and innovators. This year it was held in National Harbor, at the Gaylord Convention Centre and several members of the Econic team attended.
Following the disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industry leaders clearly welcomed the return to normality: meeting face-to-face and discussing the key trends within their sector. Polyurethanes are found in a range of every day products including mattresses, vehicles, footwear, textiles and building insulation materials. Manufacturers operating across these segments convened at the conference to collaborate on the latest industry changes and innovative developments.
Sustainability was a hot topic with several conference sessions covering different aspects, including recyclability, bio-based feedstocks and sustainable design initiatives. The EU regulatory bodies remain a driving force in the circular economy initiatives, as discussed in presentations from EUROPUR. The regulations will drive manufacturers to consider the end-of-life strategy for their products. Evoco presented their bio-based chemistry for footwear applications, showing the promising performance results and biodegradability at end of life.
Recycling schemes were also discussed and it is clear that significant barriers remain with respect to infrastructure for collection, separation of disparate materials and decisions between chemical and mechanical recycling processes. Evonik presented their hydrolysis-based chemical recycling process for PU foams, which has reached pilot scale.
Econic’s unique technology that transforms captured, waste CO2 into useful products is currently being used to manufacture polyols for use in polyurethane foams. These foams traditionally utilize fossil-fuel based ingredients and a range of potentially hazardous additives. What is undeniably clear from the sessions at CPI is that a range of technologies must be adopted to transform the PU supply chain into a circular economy framework. The enthusiasm for the topic at this year’s event demonstrates an appetite for change. Econic is ready to help the industry transform.
Get in touch to find out how we can help turn waste CO2 into added value for your business.