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World's first climate-neutral polycarbonate

Source:Plastics News Asia     Date:2021-04-19
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Covestro displayed the artwork "Garden" at its booth during the recently concluded Chinaplas 2021 in Shenzhen. In this 'garden' of colours, the plates below the blossoms are made of recycled polycarbonate water bottles, forming the "Beautiful Recycling Flower". Their colour scheme follows the current trend colours in the company's CMF (Color, Material, Finish) design.  


Covestro also showcased its range of cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions in various fields, as well as insights into design and aesthetics, all under the motto "Pioneering a circular future together". This is another proof of Covestro's commitment to building a Circular Economy and a sustainable future.


What stood out in its exhibit is the company’s plans to start offering the world's first climate-neutral polycarbonates later this year, in a major step towards its vision to become fully circular while better supporting its customers to reach their sustainability goals. "This is another milestone in pursuing our sustainability vision. We are committed to supporting our customers in mobility, electronics, electrical, healthcare and appliances industries to meet their challenges by providing products and solutions that provide excellent performance, cost efficiencies and sustainability," says Michelle Jou, President of the Polycarbonates segment at Covestro. "We are accompanying our clients in accelerating the transition to the Circular Economy, as well as helping to build an industrial ecology that favours circularity."


A new breed of polycarbonate resin

These polycarbonate grades are climate neutral from cradle to gate, thanks to the introduction of raw materials coming from mass-balanced bio-waste and residues and renewable energy into the production process. Covestro is already supplying ISCC PLUS certified polycarbonates based on renewable feedstock attributed via the mass balance approach, with a significant carbon footprint reduction. Mass balance is a chain of custody method to track materials through the value chains and allows allocation of renewable feedstock to selected end products.

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"With the use of renewable energy, Covestro is expected to cut carbon emissions completely for these selected products from cradle to gate. These products have the same good quality and performance as fossil-based polycarbonates, and are a drop-in replacement without the need to modify existing processes or workflows," says Jimena Ruesta, Venture Manager, Sustainability Solutions at Covestro's Polycarbonates segment. The first climate-neutral products are going to be delivered from the company's European sites later this year, to be followed by sites in other regions including China, in agreement with market requirements.


Advanced solutions for multiple industries

In the electrical, electronics and appliances industry, Covestro helps electrical and electronics brands obtain the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) ecolabel, resonate with global consumers in caring for the environment, and fulfill their commitments to low carbon and recycling with a diversified sustainable solution portfolio, together with rigorous supply chain and quality control processes. At Chinaplas, Covestro also presented a series of high-performance materials solutions that enable intelligent functions, connectivity, aesthetics, and circular design.


Thin-wall, flame-retardant Makrolon® and Bayblend® polycarbonates cater to the design trends in the consumer electronics and smart home appliances sectors, while the thermal conductivity of Makrolon® leads to enhanced heat dissipation in high-performance smart interconnected devices.


Themobility industry also has increasing requirements for materials. In response to the personalization and functionality trends, especially in the passenger vehicle market, Covestro provides integrated front grille materials solutions for distinctive exterior styling, while enabling effective combination with autonomous functions. The company's DirectCoating process and transparent glass-fibre polycarbonates enable interior trims with visual aesthetics and processing efficiency. In addition, Covestro also showed off battery pack materials solutions for electric vehicles that cater to various battery module materials, reduce energy consumption by lowering vehicle weight, and guarantee vehicle safety.


As healthcare patients increasingly self-administer medicines, they rely on drug delivery devices using low-friction components for accurate dosing. To enable faster recovery, patients demand minimally invasive surgeries, where strong and reliable surgical tools are needed. Covestro presented its new glass-fiber reinforced medical polycarbonate portfolio for surgical and drug delivery applications, such as internal components for delivery devices and handles for surgical tools. It also introduced a new low-friction medical polycarbonate portfolio used in moving components for delivery devices, eliminating the need for external lubricants, which was also displayed at the exhibition.  


Additionally, Covestro presented the Circular Design Guidebook for the electrical, electronics and home appliance industries. The guide, jointly authored with consultancy REnato lab, is designed to help designers, developers and other players in the value chain to consider the Circular Economy from an early stage of product design, as well as providing instructions on how to select materials.




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