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Issue 05/2016

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Polyurethane News

Polyurethane News Biobased PDI-hardener for polyurethane As part of its integrated sustainability approach, Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany) is pursuing the use of bio-based materials, as it supports Covestro’s goals for maximum economic, environmental and societal value. Covestro has developed a new bio-based hardener for coatings and adhesives for use in automotive OEM and refinish coatings. 70 % of its carbon content is of plant origin. The company has recently developed an aliphatic hardener for polyurethane coatings and adhesives that achieves the high performance level of conventional, petrochemicalbased crosslinkers such as aliphatic trimers. It is the perfect complement to polyols made from renewable raw materials, which are already being used in some polyurethane coatings applications. The latter can thus now be formulated entirely from bio-based components. A large proportion of the carbon content of Desmodur ® eco N 7300 – 70 % – is of plant origin. The hardener is based on pentamethylene diisocyanate (PDI) and commercially available in Europe for use in automotive OEM and refinish coatings, industrial coatings including anti-corrosion and wood paints, as well as adhesives. With the new hardener, coatings and adhesives manufacturers and their customers can improve their carbon footprint, and OEMs and other brand owners can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development. “The suppliers of our precursor material are already working on the next generation of biomass”, says Dr. Raul Pires, Head of New Technologies at the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties Business Unit at Covestro. “The starting material will then be cellulose or bio-waste.” MT 6A75 1-3 (Photos: covestro) Bio-based polyurethane dispersions for textilecoating Covestro has also developed a range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane dispersions under the Impranil ® eco name. With a renewable content up to 65 %, this product class improves the CO 2 footprint for manufacturers, OEM´s and brand owners in the textile industry. The products are part of the INSQIN ® program for waterborne polyurethanes for textiles. For the first time, manufacturers can produce synthetic materials and coated fabrics with a high content of renewable materials in every layer. Performance matches the high level of conventional products, and the bio-based raw materials can be used immediately without reformulation. For the supply of the precursor for renewable raw materials for Impranil ® eco, the company has partnered with the upstream company BioAmber, a technology leader in bio-chemicals. Both products fulfill an increasing demand of consumers for the supply of sustainable products on an industrial scale. Environmental compatibility is becoming a market requirement, and large suppliers of brand products support this trend. In the case of both products, the bio sources used are not in competition with the food chain. MT A new range of waterborne, bio-based polyurethane dispersions of Covestro has a renewable content of up to 65 % 58 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/16] Vol. 11

Opinion Chemistry’s new players and value chains At the beginning of this century the production of chemical materials started a revolutionary change by moving from hydrocarbons to carbohydrates as raw material. The reason for this is that economical, ecological and technological developments are coming together. This conversion process will take 2-3 decades. Both biocatalytic and chemo-catalytic conversion of carbohydrates and of CO 2 is applied for the production of chemicals and polymers. This offers opportunities to form new, economically attractive platform molecules like succinic acid, levulinic acid and furans. Also new polymers like PLA, PHA and PEF are introduced to the market. One also observes significant changes at the beginning of the traditional value chains for materials. The big oil and chemical companies are being challenged by newcomers in this business from the wood, paper, potato and sugar industries with strong raw material positions and expertise in industrial biotechnology. Also companies active in waste management (solid waste, waste water, gas effluents, biogas, CO2, cooking oil) start the creation of so-called after-use value chains, something that was emphasized as very important during the last World Economic Forum in Davos. Many of the traditional companies take few or no initiatives here, or even suggest putting CO 2 under the ground, while it has been demonstrated that it can be a very useful raw material, something nature shows us already since thousands of years. These companies know from experience that development and profitably marketing a new polymer costs 20 years and 1 billion on average (development costs plus investments). This makes them reluctant to start revolutionary new things. The new players bring other competencies for the creation of new value chains. They look for opportunities to extend their product portfolio and also to upgrade their carbohydrate containing waste streams where possible. However, they often don’t have the experience required for the existing markets. The formation of many alliances in the new value chains accelerate the progress required and diminish delays. The first part of the value chains will look different a few decades from now. In North-America and many Asian countries governments strongly stimulate this change. Europe should not fall behind for too long. At the least a level playing field needs to be created for renewable chemical materials and renewable energy. By: Jan Ravenstijn Consultant Biobased Materials Meerssen The Netherlands. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/16] Vol. 11 59

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