Alternative raw materials are an important pillar in building a circular economy. Here, materials manufacturer Covestro is focusing on an increased use of biomass, recyclates and green hydrogen. The company is now offering products with a minimum content of 25% of alternative raw materials under the new CQ label. CQ offers a smarter approach to more sustainable materials and solutions where customers can easily distinguish products based on alternative raw materials from fossil-based ones by the CQ label in the product name.
For the continuous evolution of recycling, Covestro AG, Leverkusen/Germany, is now introducing Evocycle CQ. It is an extension to the CQ label and stands for recycling technologies which enable the use of recycled plastics and recycled raw materials from the company’s portfolio within a streamlined closed-loop system.
Furthermore, the company is not active alone here, rather collaborating with partners from all fields of recycling and reuse. In this way, it transforms the industry turning waste into valuable resources, reducing the use of fossil fuels and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
The first initiative is Evocycle CQ Mattress. Covestro, together with partners, has developed an innovative technology for the chemolysis of polyurethane (PU) flexible foams from used mattresses, in which both main components – the polyol and the precursor to the isocyanate TDI – can be recovered. With this, end of life mattress foams are directly transformed back into renewed PU building blocks.
Since 2021, the company is operating a pilot plant at its Leverkusen site confirming the positive lab test results. Moreover, the company is working with recycling specialists such as Interzero Circular Solutions Germany GmbH, Cologne/Germany, and EcoMaison (formerly Eco-mobilier), Carcassonne/France, as well as other partners along the value chain, to ultimately close the material cycle for PU mattresses completely and on an industrial scale.
Raw materials produced from biomass and, in particular, from biowaste and residual materials are also becoming increasingly important. Covestro relies primarily on the latter raw materials because they are available in large quantities and can be used to manufacture a wide range of plastics. Through mass balancing, they are offered in the same good quality as their fossil-based counterparts without customers having to change their processing operations. The company works with a number of suppliers who offer the raw materials using a mass-balance approach certified to the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS standard. The starting point also includes fossil raw materials, with the biological portions being allocated to the products by a third party audited allocation method.