The Urethane Blog

Covestro And The Post Petrol World

Covestro joins calls for petrol-free chemical industry

byJohn Carlon

June 21, 2017

4:00 PM

Participants of a raw material summit held on Tuesday at the Technical University of Berlin, organised in collaboration with DECHEMA (German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) and the materials manufacturer Covestro called for joint efforts to remove fossil fuels and petrol products from the chemical production process.

Summit participants focussed on Germany’s leading role to play in this area, which thanks to public funding can be expanded.

Kurt Wagemann, DECHEMA Managing Director, who chaired the main panel discussion, said: “Above all, it is important to quickly implement good ideas. That’s why the start-up culture must be encouraged in the chemical industry in particular.”

An ideas competition held at the event served as a signal for promoting increased start-up culture. Five start-up companies from the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany presented to the audience projects in which biomass and carbon dioxide are used instead of petroleum as alternative sources of carbon. Three of them were awarded the accolade of Resource Innovator 2017 and received prize-money donated by Covestro.

Alongside Professor Wagemann, the panel of five judges comprised Professor Reinhard Schomäcker from the Institute for Chemistry of TU Berlin, Dr. Markus Steilemann, Chief Commercial Officer at Covestro, Professor Robert Schlögl, Director at the Fritz Haber-Institute of the Max Planck Society, and Sonja Jost, Managing Director of the chemical company DexLeChem.

Steilemann pointed out how important and fruitful cooperation between research-based companies and application-oriented academia is. “Such cooperation has enabled Covestro to rapidly develop and launch the first CO2-based products on the market.”

TU Professor Schomäcker also strongly favoured the expansion of cooperation especially within the academic sphere to drive research forward in a focused way. He cited the UniCat excellence cluster as an example, which brings together scientists and engineers from various universities and institutes in the Berlin area and creates synergies.