Covestro joins forces with Chinese partner INOV

Premiere for sports floorings with CO2 in China

  • Novel sports application for CO2-based material cardyon®
  • New polyurethane walkway at Covestro’s regional innovation hub
  • Innovative material to support circularity by partly replacing crude oil

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 joint effort with INOV in the polyurethane walkway project is an important step in turning our attention to the applications of innovative sustainable materials in sports,” said John Dou, Vice President of Commercial Operation for Business Unit Polyurethanes, Covestro China. “In the future, we will continue to work closely with our industry partners to further explore and promote the use of innovative materials to reduce carbon footprint, support sustainable development of the chemical industry, and improve people’s quality of life.”

 

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 synthesize plastics. This sustainable material can save up to one-fifth of crude oil in production – an innovative contribution to resource preservation and circular economy.

 

Breakthrough in the use of innovative materials in sports

The 66-meter-long and 1.2-meter-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 color.

 

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 produces 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 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 to for the production of innovative elastic textile fibers. Latest development is an application of soft foams produced with cardyon® for automotive interior. Covestro and INOV are now jointly building the polyurethane walkway, marking the breakthrough use of cardyon® in China and further strengthening cooperation in the field of plastic runways.