Urethane Blog

Path to Sustainable MDI

January 27, 2021

Covestro : receives first delivery of sustainable benzene from Total

01/27/2021 | 04:50am EST

Covestro has received its first delivery of 2,000 metric tons of sustainable benzene from Total and by that achieved a further milestone on its way towards a Circular Economy. The ISCC Plus-certified raw material was supplied by Total Refining and Petrochemicals Normandy platform in northwestern France, and transported to Covestro’s Antwerp site. There it serves as a precursor for aniline, an important chemical product from which Covestro produces diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at the Krefeld-Uerdingen Chempark. MDI is the initial base for rigid polyurethane foam, which for decades has provided highly efficient thermal insulation for buildings and refrigeration equipment, as well as for applications in the automotive and many other industries.

‘Through the partnership with Total, we are supporting our customers in the rigid foam sector to make their production even more sustainable and to position themselves accordingly,’ says Daniel Meyer, Global Head of the Polyurethanes segment at Covestro. ‘They can use this drop-in solution immediately in their existing manufacturing processes without any technical conversion. The product quality is on par with that of petrochemical-based products.’

‘This commercial partnership with Covestro demonstrates Total’s goal to produce and commercialize new sustainable products, helping our clients to reduce their carbon footprint,’ says Jean-François Renglet, Vice President Marketing Base Chemicals Division at Total Refining and Chemicals. ‘It is in line with Total’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 for all its activities worldwide, from production to the energy products used by its customers.’ Gradual transition to alternative raw materials

By gradually transitioning its production to alternative raw materials, Covestro aims to replace fossil raw materials and make its value chains more sustainable. Just recently, the company itself received ISCC Plus certification for the production of renewable aniline in Antwerp and MDI in Uerdingen, as well as for the production of polycarbonate at both sites. For Covestro, the project is part of a comprehensive program with which the company, together with partners, aims to propel the transition to a circular economy and ultimately become fully circular itself.

Mass balance certification across the entire value chain makes production more sustainable – reducing the product’s CO₂ footprint and the use of fossil raw materials – and more transparent. The acronym ISCC stands for International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, an internationally recognized system for the sustainability certification of biomass and bioenergy.


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