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Turning waste into added value: CO₂ technology

Inspired by nature, our innovative CO₂ technology enables carbon dioxide to be reused as a valuable raw material in polyol production. With our CO₂-based polyol cardyon®, up to 20% of fossil feedstock can be replaced with CO₂, reducing the dependence on fossil resources and realizing a more sustainable innovation that contributes to a more circular economy.

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cardyon®
A sustainable polyol made with up to 20% CO₂ for soft polyurethane foams

Transforming times: closing the carbon loop

We are at a decisive turning point that calls for quick transformation to ensure a brighter, more sustainable future. By bringing CO₂ back into the value chain, our CO₂ technology enables stakeholders along the value chain to take the lead with us in realizing innovations for sustainability. Using our process, up to 20% of fossil feedstock can be replaced with carbon dioxide to yield CO₂-based polyols called cardyon®.
First used in soft polyurethane foams for mattresses, the cardyon® portfolio has seen wide uptake in applications from upholstered furniture and car interiors to special adhesives for sports flooring underlays. Also, thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) solutions are available for use in shoes, industrial tubing and textile fibers which are on the verge of market maturity.

Reuse carbon dioxide Reduce fossil resource consumption Realize sustainable market innovations

  • Reuse:  Inspired by nature, CO₂ is reused as a valuable raw material in polyol production, shaping a circular economy.
  • Reduce:  Replacing up to 20% of fossil feedstock with CO₂ reduces our dependence on fossil resources in polyol production.
  • Realize:  Companies can realize more sustainable products, meeting market demand for more responsible solutions.
  • Differentiate:  Our CO₂ technology enables all stakeholders along the value chain to take the lead with us in sustainability.

“Novel materials like cardyon® are extremely important for the development and responsible production of sustainable foams. We are pleased to work with Covestro, one of the innovation leaders in the use of alternative raw materials.”

Michael Riedel

CEO FoamPartner

Pioneering the use of carbon dioxide as an alternative raw material

As climate change demands a reduction in world greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide is showing great promise as a new raw material. Our CO₂ technology transforms carbon dioxide from waste into added value. At the core of this innovative technology is a special new catalyst developed in close collaboration with partners. This breakthrough ended a four-decade search by industrial and chemical companies for a viable and efficient way to reuse CO₂ as a raw material in polyol production. The result was the first polyethercarbonate polyol containing up to 20% CO₂, now sold under the cardyon® brand name.

“CO₂ as raw material…the best of both worlds: We can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also use less fossil resources. That’s fantastic.”

Frank van der Velde

Marketing Director, vita cellular foams

Transforming times: Seamlessly embedding CO₂-based polyols into your production processes

We find ourselves at a crossroads. Transforming our own manufacturing processes can help to shape a brighter, more innovative and sustainable future. Covestro makes it easy for businesses to realize more sustainable innovations. Customers have already embedded cardyon® in applications from sport flooring underlays to furniture upholstery. Reusing carbon dioxide, reducing fossil resource consumption and realizing increased sustainability in your sector together is now simple, quick and seamless when you work with Covestro.

“I am proud that Recticel and Covestro are partners on this exciting journey to create more sustainable chemical building blocks.”

Olivier Chapelle

CEO Recticel

Innovative CO₂-based polyol: cardyon® finds applications in many sectors

In its first application, cardyon® polyol was used in manufacturing polyurethane foam for mattresses and furniture upholstery. Covestro steadily expanded the portfolio of CO₂-based polyols and enabled a range of new applications. Our cardyon® found use in other industry segments as a polyurethane binder in sports flooring underlays, and then in a range of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) applications as well as flexible foams for car interiors. As this innovative technology continues to mature, elastic textile fibers are also on the verge of market maturity.

“We attach great importance to using sustainable raw materials and are always on the lookout for ecologically sensible alternatives to conventional products. Ideally, even the quality of the product can be improved. Covestro guarantees exactly that with cardyon®.”

Daniel Klomp

Purchasing Manager, Sport Group

Covestro: Sustained track record in CO₂ technology

2008
Covestro and partners are the first to produce a CO₂-based polyol on lab scale, partly replacing propylene oxide in polyol production. These trials are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

2010

In a second round of German government funding, the lab process for producing CO₂-based polyols is optimized and scaled up, reaching the next milestone – the building of a mini production plant.

2016

A demo plant is inaugurated in Dormagen, Germany, with an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons. In this plant, up to 20% of fossil feedstock can be replaced with CO₂. The new CO₂-based polyols from Covestro are branded cardyon®.

2016 to present

cardyon® finds widespread use in many industries across the value chain. It is used in the industrial production of soft polyurethane foams for mattresses and furniture upholstery. The expanding portfolio of CO₂-based polyol now finds application as a PU binder component in sports flooring underlays and in flexible foams for automotive interior applications. Elastic textile fibers are also on the verge of market maturity. 

“Finally we can bring a product into the market that really has a positive impact on the environment.”

Filippo de Ruvo

Olmo Giuseppe S.p.A.

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