Econic shared the benefits of incorporating CO2-based polyols into polyurethane foam applications at the 2023 Conference on CO2 Fuels and Chemicals.
Manchester, 28th April 2023 – Last week, our Commercial Lead, Liz, attended the Conference on CO2 Fuels and Chemicals in Cologne, organised by the Nova Institute. The annual event brings together carbon capture and utilisation technology providers, universities and industry bodies. The conference ran over two days and covered a number of topics, including policy frameworks, and innovations in capture, carbon-to-fuels and carbon-to-chemicals.
The founder of the Nova Institute, Dr. Michael Carus, opened the event sharing the findings from their latest carbon flows report. Today 88% of carbon in supply chains comes from fossil sources; it will take a combination of recycling technologies, bio-based carbon and the utilisation of captured CO2 to fulfil the demands for our materials supply chain in the years to come. Anastasios Perimenis from CO2 Value Europe presented their roadmap to optimising CCU in Europe, and Nicolas Hark gave an overview of the key EU initiatives relevant to carbon utilisation. Legislation within the EU is developing to support sustainable polymers and chemistry, but perhaps fails to recognise the full potential for CO2 utilisation to transform our materials supply chains.
The session that followed shared innovations in capture technology, including how solar power can supply the energy required in regeneration and how metal organic frameworks (MOFs), can provide efficient capture technology. The award for Best CO2 utilisation of 2023 was a great opportunity to hear some of the latest innovations in the CCU space. An innovation from the German Institute of Textile and Fiber Research, CellCO2 won the award with a CO₂ adsorbent material based on amine-functionalised cellulosic fibre materials.
A session on sustainable fuel technology made clear the challenges in this complex sector. The potential environmental benefits of sustainable aviation fuels drive activity in the sector, but the performance demands and legislative hurdles make progress difficult. It may require a redesign in fueling systems within the industry to accommodate progress towards significantly reduced emissions.
Econic was invited to present as part of the carbon-to-polymers session, which provided an opportunity to update the industry on our commercialisation, and to share the latest developments in the performance of our polyols in polyurethane foam applications. Our team has been working hard to understand how the replacement of traditional, fossil fuel-based polyether polyols with our CO2-based polyols impacts on the properties of polyurethane foams. In May, we will present more of this data at the Renewable Materials Conference in Cologne, and the Polyurethane Foam Association Spring Meeting in Florida.
It was great to see so much enthusiasm for CCU technologies in Cologne, and the breadth of innovations demonstrates just how much potential there is in this sector. However, it is clear is that policy and regulatory alignment must be found, to bring forth a range of sustainable technologies, to meet the varied needs across applications. Collaboration throughout the value chain can bring sustainable changes about faster, and Econic is committed to help that happen.