Green Materials: Perstorp to produce sustainable methanol in Sweden; Covestro’s sustainable cast elastomer solution for the offshore industry

Perstorp to produce sustainable methanol in Sweden

Chemicals firm Perstorp says it has developed a production concept to produce methanol from a large variety of recovered end-of-life streams and hydrogen from electrolysis. Calling it Project AIR, the firm will build a large-scale, commercial carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) unit in Stenungsund, Sweden, to produce sustainable methanol by 2025. It adds that the methanol plant will be unique at it is a combined CCU and gasification process where CO2, residue streams, renewable hydrogen and biomethane will be converted to methanol. Perstorp plans to do this in cooperation with Fortum, Uniper and Nature Energy.

Methanol is one of the most important raw materials for the chemical industry. Project AIR aims to substitute all the 200,000 tonnes of fossil methanol that Perstorp uses annually in Europe as a raw material for chemical products. The project would support companies downstream in the value chains in their efforts towards renewable/circular materials, reduced carbon footprints, and in their ability to offer sustainable, affordable products. If completed, Project AIR will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 500,000 tonnes/year. The goal is to start producing sustainable methanol in 2025.

If the required funding’s are granted, Perstorp plans to build the methanol plant, utilise own CO2 and residue streams, and use the methanol to substitute all the fossil methanol used in its production in Europe. Fortum and Uniper plans to supply renewable hydrogen from a new electrolysis plant. One of the world’s largest producers of biogas, Nature Energy will seek to supply biogas to Project AIR.

“This innovation would both optimise the use of existing technologies whilst building something completely new, as well as demonstrating carbon capture and utilisation, using captured CO2 as a raw material. It would be a concrete example of the transition towards a circular economy and of how significant CO2 emission reductions could be achieved by utilising existing resources and closing loops. This would be an important step for us to achieve our goal of becoming Finite Material Neutral,” said Perstorp’s President/CEO Jan Secher.

Covestro’s sustainable cast elastomer solution for the offshore industry

Meanwhile in other news, German materials firm Covestro has developed polyurethane elastomers based on so-called cardyon brand polyols, which contain CO2 and offer the same good performance as corresponding petrochemical-based elastomers. A new technology from Covestro makes it possible to produce these precursors from carbon dioxide in a proportion of up to 20% by weight, thereby replacing some of the fossil raw materials used up to now. The development contributes to recycling carbon and underlines Covestro's intention to focus all its activities on the Circular Economy.

In its search for a more sustainable solution for the offshore industry, moulding company Polarttech opted for a Desmodur elastomer system containing cardyon polyols. This cast polyurethane elastomer offers the following advantages:

  • The part produced with this system shows good hydrolysis resistance, as expected from such an offshore application, and is more durable than other elastomers such as rubber.

  • The polyurethane system enables the production of elastomers with high-performance or even better mechanical properties such as tensile strength and tear resistance than corresponding conventional cast polyurethane systems made from fossil raw materials.

  • The solution offers the possibility to reduce the carbon footprint and dependence on fossil raw materials.

"The use of CO2 in chemical raw materials is a groundbreaking innovation that is in perfect harmony with our vision of recycling," comments Thomas Braig, Head of Covestro Elastomers. "What is important to us, of course, is a successful application in practical use. We are pleased when manufacturers choose this sustainable solution, and appreciate the trust they place in our innovations, especially in our Desmodur elastomer system, which contains cardyon polyols."

"Our goal is to provide our customers with the quality products they need," adds Arthur Brouwers, CTO of Polarttech. "The tests we conducted confirmed both the property profiles and the processing conditions of the system developed by Covestro."

The newly developed solution are said to surpass Polarttech's previous system in terms of resilience and abrasion resistance. Moreover, its processing is easier thanks to a long pot life and excellent detaching when the part is demoulded.


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