When in 2009 Bayer MaterialScience started exploring ways to make it possible to use CO2 as a raw material to make plastics, it named the project "Dream Reactions." The researchers working on the project knew that CO2 could be used to replace, at least in part, the use of oil - the trick was finding the catalyst that would make this 'dream' reaction come true. Fast-forward to 2014, and that catalyst has been developed, the Dream Production project has been launched and if all goes according to plan, carbon dioxide-based flexible polyurethane foam for use in mattresses will be produced at the Dormagen site from 2016 onward.
The quest, however, did not stop there. Today, the company has announced that its research into carbon dioxide as a new raw material for making plastics has yielded further exciting results.
The Dream Polymers research project, as it is known, in which the company is continuing its activities to find new uses for CO2, has produced a technology by which a considerable reduction of the need for petroleum at precursor level is achieved through the incorporation of CO2. The new process also extends the range of plastics that CO2 can be used to produce.