Recycling

2022-10-13

New concept for circular solutions with alternative raw materials

As an extension of the new "CQ" label for products with alternative raw materials, Covestro is introducing the name "Evocycle CQ" for innovative recycling technologies and cycle designs. © Covestro
Alternative raw materials are an important pillar in building a circular economy. Here, materials manufacturer Covestro is focusing on an increased use of biomass, recyclates and green hydrogen. The company is now offering products with a minimum content of 25 percent of alternative raw materials under the new "CQ" label. CQ stands for "Circular Intelligence", a smarter approach to more sustainable materials and solutions. Customers can easily distinguish products based on alternative raw materials from fossil-based ones by the CQ label in the product name.

Introduction of CQ label for products with alternative raw materials

Extension: Evocycle® CQ for innovative recycling technologies and cycle designs

"All our solutions under the umbrella CQ prove that we are continuing to work on making our vision of the circular economy a reality, to help customers and partners achieve their sustainability and climate goals. In this way, we also aim to meet consumer demands for more sustainable products," says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. "And this is just the beginning. In the long term, Covestro also wants to offer every one of its products in a climate-neutral¹ version."

Evocycle® CQ: a new name for all innovative recycling technologies and cycle designs of Covestro

Plastic waste is a valuable raw material and should not simply be disposed of. Therefore, Covestro is taking pride in proving that the path to circularity is possible for all stakeholders – and makes innovative recycling a priority. For the continuous evolution of recycling, the company now introduces the name "Evocycle® CQ". It is an extension to the CQ label and stands for recycling technologies which enable the use of recycled plastics and recycled raw materials from the Covestro portfolio within a streamlined closed-loop system.

What’s more, the company is not active here alone, rather collaborating with partners from all fields of recycling and reuse to unlock its potential across the entire value chain. That’s how it transforms the industry turning waste into valuable resources, reducing the use of fossil fuels and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

The first initiative is called Evocycle® CQ Mattress: Covestro, together with partners, has developed an innovative technology for the chemolysis of polyurethane flexible foams from used mattresses, in which both main components – the polyol and the precursor to the isocyanate TDI – can be recovered. With this, end of life mattress foams are directly transformed back into renewed polyurethane building blocks.

Since last year the company is operating a pilot plant at its Leverkusen site confirming the positive lab test results. And the journey continues: Covestro is working with recycling specialists such as Interzero and Eco-mobilier2, as well as other partners along the value chain, to ultimately close the material cycle for polyurethane mattresses completely and on an industrial scale.



From mass-balanced raw materials to green hydrogen

Raw materials produced from biomass and, in particular, from biowaste and residual materials are also becoming increasingly important. Covestro relies primarily on the latter raw materials because they are available in large quantities and can be used to manufacture a wide range of plastics. Through mass balancing, they are offered in the same good quality as their fossil-based counterparts without customers having to change their processing operations. Covestro works with a number of suppliers who offer the raw materials using a mass-balance approach certified to the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS standard. The starting point also includes fossil raw materials, with the biological portions being allocated to the products by a third party audited allocation method.

Covestro is thus converting its production to the use of alternative and, above all, mass-balanced raw materials, in some cases also using renewable energy from wind and solar power. Many of the company's sites are now also ISCC PLUS certified, including Leverkusen, Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen, Antwerp, Filago, Shanghai, Map Ta Phut and Changhua.

Green hydrogen generated with the help of wind or solar energy also plays an important role for the chemical industry – both as an alternative raw material and as a source of clean energy. Covestro, together with partners, is committed to the urgently needed market ramp-up. The company uses hydrogen and its derivatives to produce high-performance plastics.


¹ Climate neutrality is the result of an internal assessment of a partial product life cycle from raw material extraction (cradle) to Covestro's factory gate, also known as cradle-to-gate assessment.

2 The company "Eco-mobilier" has changed its name to "ecomaison" at the beginning of October 2022.



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