Developing visions and joining forces with partners to establish collaborations and initiatives brings Bayer closer to the goal of more energy-efficient and resource-friendly production. Pursuing completely new approaches in plastics production is enabling us to make a technical breakthrough in carbon dioxide (CO2
) recycling. It took more than 40 years of research to develop a useful raw material from this harmful climate gas. The breakthrough was triggered by a new catalyst developed by Bayer researchers and jointly optimized with the CAT Catalytic Center in Aachen, Germany. In February 2011, as part of the publicly sponsored “Dream Production”
project [ 40 ]
, Bayer took into operation a pilot plant in Leverkusen for the manufacture of polyol – an important precursor of polyurethane – with the help of CO2.
Provided the test phase is successful, Bayer will launch industrial-scale production in 2015. In parallel with this, a further project partner, RWTH Aachen University, is conducting an investigation of the ecological balance of the complete process. The new process helps, above all, to reduce dependency on crude oil as a source of carbon and makes a contribution to climate protection. “Dream Production” was nominated, for instance, for the German Sustainability Award 2011.
Researchers involved in the publicly sponsored CO2RRECT
joint project [ 42 ]
are focusing on the question of how carbon dioxide can additionally be harnessed with the help of surplus electricity from wind energy.
In September 2011 Bayer Technology Services and the Technical University of Dortmund opened the new INVITE
research center [ 43 ]
at the Chempark Leverkusen site. INVITE stands for innovations, visions and technologies. The facility is dedicated to the development and testing of flexible, efficient and thus climate-friendly production concepts for the “Factory of the Future” that help to conserve resources.