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Covestro Is Planning to Go All in on Bio-Based Raw Materials

Covestro’s family of partially bio-based thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) is now being marketed under the name Desmopan EC.

Depending on the product hardness, up to 60 percent of the carbon content is derived from biomass. Compared to fossil-based TPUs, their carbon footprint is reduced by more than 20 percent. The products are made of bio-based succinic acid, as well as bio-based propanediol (Bio-PDO). The plastics have a wide range of applications, for example in the footwear industry, Covestro said.

“Covestro intends to gear its entire production and product range completely to the circular concept in the long term,” Dr. Thorsten Dreier, global head of Covestro’s TPU and films business, said. “An important aspect of this program is the increased use of alternative raw materials, for example from biomass, which is consistent with our customers’ wishes.”

Covestro said the partially bio-based grades feature the same good quality and performance as previous products in the Desmopan range and offer equal resistance to oils, fats, solvents, weathering and high-energy radiation. In addition, a grade certified with the Bluesign seal is available for particularly responsible and sustainable textile production.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes offer high wear resistance and flexibility over a wide temperature range. In addition, the material is soft and elastic, eliminating the need for plasticizers, the company noted. Desmopan brand TPUs consist of linear polymer chains with alternating flexible and rigid segments. By modifying these phases, properties such as hardness, strength, stiffness, elasticity and low-temperature flexibility can be varied over a wide range.

With sales of 12.4 billion euros (about $15 billion) in 2019, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life, including sports and leisure, cosmetics, healthcare, automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide.