Econic Technologies, a spin-out company from Imperial College in London that is developing catalysts that enable the production of plastics, such as polycarbonates and polyurethanes using CO2 as one of the feedstocks, has secured UK £1.1 million (over $1.72 million) in new funding in an investment round led by Imperial Innovations Group. The two investors: Imperial Innovations, founded in 1986 as a vehicle through which to promote the commercialization of technology developed at Imperial College and now an investor in companies based on technologies from or associated with in total four universities; and the Norwegian firm Norner Verdandi AS, launched in 2011 to develop businesses based on technology and knowledge present within parent company Norner or derived from other companies, have each committed UK £550,000 (around $864,000), with the new funds to be used for research and development purposes as well as scaling up production.
The technology that Econic is developing with the assistance of Norner may best be described as a co-polymerization catalyst. The process involves copolymerizing CO2 with another chemical to form various types of plastic material.
The traditional process for producing polyurethanes and polycarbonates currently involves the catalytic polymerization of hydrocarbon feedstocks that are derived from petrochemicals. As an intermediate step, this process produces polycarbonate polyols and polycarbonates, which are then further processed to become polyurethanes and polycarbonates....