Dream Production project uses CO2 to produce PPP and PU materials

While catalysis is currently used in the manufacture of more than 85 % of all chemical products, the low energy density of CO2 has hindered the application of this technology in any attempt to put the gas to practical use.

However, recent laboratory tests using the novel catalysis technology, have successfully produced small volumes of PPP and plans to scale up the process are scheduled to happen at a pilot plant within Chempark Leverkusen, to produce kilogramme quantities of the material.

"As part of this project, we have dealt with fundamental questions focusing on harnessing CO2 by using newly developed catalysts. We have achieved promising results that form the basis for industrial implementation in the Dream Production project”, explains Dr. Dirk Van Meirvenne, Managing Director of BTS.

During the next three years the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will invest a total of more than EUR 4.5 million in the initiative, the project supervision of which is the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
PPPs produced using catalysis are very attractive materials.

Using CO2 from RWE Power's lignite-fired power plant at Niederaußem, Germany, as a raw material for manufacturing polymers helps cut consumption of conventional raw materials and therefore fossil fuels. As well as the incorporation of CO2 into the process, there are also further interesting possibilities involving the use in PU chemistry.

"Unifying the entire value chain from the source to the product in one single project is unique in CO2 usage. This offers enormous opportunities but also requires open and intensive communication, an aspect that was a great success in the project preparation phase”, says Prof. Walter Leitner, Executive Director of the Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (ITMC) at RWTH Aachen University.

The cooperation with BMS and BTS as part of the CAT Catalytic Center laid the foundations for this consortium. RWE operates a CO2 scrubbing system at its coal innovation centre by which the CO2  is captured from the flue gas. For the Dream Production project the CO2 scrubber will be equipped with an additional liquefaction system so that the gas can be transported to Leverkusen.

The liquefaction system will be designed and operated with flexibility to meet various CO2 pressures and purities on a scale ranging from kilogrammes up to tonnes.