Materials manufacturer Covestro has worked with Shandong INOV New Materials Co Ltd, a materials manufacturer and engineering contractor of plastics sport floorings, to complete the laying of a walkway using CO2-based material cardyon® at Covestro's Asia Pacific Innovation Center in Shanghai.
It marks a new breakthrough in the use of Covestro's cardyon polyols in the field of plastic runways.
It's the first case in China where the innovative CO2-based material has been used to produce sports floorings.
"The efforts of our Chinese colleagues together with INOV are an important step towards increasing awareness of the application possibilities of our innovative materials," said Daniel Meyer, Head of Business Unit Polyurethanes at Covestro.
"The co-operation with our industrial partners will continue to be a focus in the future to further research and promote the use of our sustainable products.
"Our goal is to continuously reduce our CO₂ footprint and to align our business sustainably to the circular economy."
The carbon dioxide for the walkway is contained in a binder, or more precisely, in one of its components, a so-called polyol named cardyon, which was developed by Covestro to synthesise plastics.
This sustainable material can save up to one-fifth of crude oil in production – an innovative contribution to resource preservation and circular economy.
The 66-metre-long and 1.2-metre-wide walkway uses polyurethane adhesive based on cardyon, as well as the molecular structure design by INOV.
It features outstanding elasticity and flatness, which brings more comfort.
The walkway material has high yellowing resistance, with gorgeous and lasting colour.
Xu Jun, chairman of INOV, said: "We are very honored to participate in the laying of this cardyon-based walkway at Covestro's Asia Pacific Innovation Center.
"We hope to take this opportunity to continue to cooperate with Covestro in more fields and explore sustainable and innovative applications of polyurethanes."
Using CO₂ to save oil resources
The material cardyon is Covestro's breakthrough product that turns CO₂ into a valuable raw material.
Through close cooperation with RWTH Aachen University in Germany, inert CO₂ molecules are activated and used to partly replace crude oil to produce polyethercarbonate polyols.
Since 2016, Covestro has produced the new CO₂-based polyols at its Dormagen site near Cologne, using carbon dioxide from a neighboring chemical company, where it is produced as a byproduct.
"It is great to see the CO₂ walkway is laid at our Asia Pacific Innovation Center, which is another example of our commitment to promoting innovation inspired by sustainability," said Dr Michael Schmidt, Head of Innovation for the Asia Pacific region at Covestro.
"We look forward to using CO₂ as a new raw material in a variety of applications. We hope to form a closed loop in the use of CO₂, thereby saving oil resources and fostering a circular economy."
So far, cardyon has been used to produce soft polyurethane foam for mattresses and upholstered furniture, as well as sports floorings in the hockey facility of a renowned sports club in Germany.
It is also used for the production of innovative elastic textile fibres.
The latest development is an application of soft foams produced with cardyon for automotive interiors.
Covestro and INOV are now jointly building the polyurethane walkway, marking the breakthrough use of cardyon in China and further strengthening co-operation in the field of plastic runways.