Covestro to source raw materials from chemical recycling in the USA
As part of an agreement, the US company Encina will supply Covestro with chemically recycled raw materials from the end of 2027.
Covestro has announced that the German plastics manufacturer and Encina, a US-based producer of circular chemicals, have signed a long-term supply agreement for chemically recycled raw materials from used plastics. Encina will reportedly supply Covestro with benzene and toluene, which are important raw materials for the company's manufacturing processes, once its production plant is completed, which is scheduled for the end of 2027. According to Encina, these are produced using a proprietary catalytic technology and are said to have a lower carbon footprint compared to fossil-based fuels.
"The ability to source raw materials from used plastics for the manufacture of our products makes a decisive contribution to realizing our vision of a circular economy," explains Thorsten Dreier, Chief Technology Officer at Covestro. "This is because such raw materials not only enable the reuse of used plastics, but also have a lower carbon footprint, which leads to more sustainable end products." According to Covestro, the first major purchasing agreement for chemically recycled, circular raw materials is an important step on the company's path to a fully circular economy. The use of these raw materials in Covestro's products would also contribute to reducing Scope 3 emissions for the plastics manufacturer and its customers. Covestro plans to use the benzene and toluene from Encina for the production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI). These are two key components for the production of rigid and flexible polyurethane foams used in applications such as household appliance and building insulation as well as furniture and car seats. According to Covestro, benzene is also used to synthesize raw materials for the production of polycarbonate plastics such as Makrolon®, which are used in applications in the automotive, electronics, IT and other industries.
Commenting on the collaboration with Covestro, Encina CEO David Roesser said: "Encina is proud to be working with Covestro, a company with a long track record of innovation and commitment to sustainability. This agreement represents the beginning of what we hope will be a long-standing partnership between our companies as we work to create a truly circular economy and realize a future in which nothing is wasted.“
- Covestro press release (January 17, 2024)
- Photo: © Covestro