Urethane Blog

Dow to Recycle Mattresses into Polyol

June 5, 2020

The Renuva mattress recycling programme sets out to recycle PU foam from end-of-life mattresses into polyol. (Source: Dow)

03. June 2020

Dow: Industrial scale production facility will recycle end-of-life mattresses into polyols

Dow Polyurethanes, a business division of Dow, announced a breakthrough in its Renuva mattress recycling programme with a plan to install a pioneering industrial scale production facility at Orrion Chemicals Orgaform in Semoy, France. This new development builds on Dow’s existing collaboration with process know-how and turnkey installations provider H&S Anlagentechnik, announced in 2017.

The mattress recycling programme will take discarded mattress foam and turn it back into raw material (polyol) through chemical recycling. The new raw material can then be used in flexible or rigid polyurethane foam products to go into applications such as building insulation boards and even back into new mattresses. The installation is expected to take place during the second half of 2020, with the first batch of Renuva polyols expected to be delivered in the first half of 2021.

According to Dow Polyurethanes, every year around 30 million mattresses are thrown away in Europe. If they were all stacked up, the pile would be 678 times the height of Mount Everest (assuming an average mattress height of 20 cm – height of Mount Everest is 8,848 m). This new initiative will help enable a more circular economy for polyurethanes by ensuring the applications they are used in can be recycled, and it can help the EU reach its goal of having 65 % of municipal waste recycled by 2030, said the company.

“At Dow we’re passionate about integrating sustainability into all aspects of the Polyurethane lifecycle. This development will represent a significant step towards achieving circularity for a product which traditionally poses significant challenges for recycling,” said Ana Carolina Haracemiv, commercial director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, India (EMEAI), Dow Polyurethanes.

“Through Renuva our ambition is to address some of the circular economy goals set out in the EU’s Green Deal and in national waste management strategies of countries like France,” stated Marcel Moeller, global marketing and sustainability director, Dow Polyurethanes.

“This new cooperation will reinforce Orrion Chemicals Orgaform’s commitment to sustainable development,” said Christian Siest, president, Orrion Chemicals Orgaform. “We will be proud to build an industrial scale production unit for recycling end-of-life foam and be selected as a partner by Dow. This will be a major investment that fits the growth strategy of our company.”



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