"This success with bioaniline is also clearly a joint effort and shows how important and useful cooperation in chemistry and industry as a whole is."
The polymer manufacturer Covestro has been given an award by the German government in recognition of the company’s work to make its operations more sustainable. The German company picked up the Federal Government and industry award ‘Excellent Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’ for the process it had developed with partners from industry and science that enabled the production of a plastic derived from plant-based materials.
Teaming up with Bayer, the CAT Catalytic Center and the University of Stuttgart, Leverkusen-based Covestro replaces the need for tradition crude oil derived materials instead using the organic compound aniline – a newly developed process that produces the sustainable material.
The German government hopes to use the initiative to highlight the work that the country is doing in the area of sustainable production, with the presumed aim that its efforts will appeal to the next generation of bio-based start-ups and investors. The Federal Government organisers said that the winners of the award demonstrated “forward-looking innovations are created through experimentation, curiosity and the courage to rethink“.
Speaking on their success, @CovestroGroup CEO, Markus Steilemann, said the work they were doing with innovative products, processes and solutions was motivated by the desire to “make the world a brighter place”. “This success with bioaniline is also clearly a joint effort and shows how important and useful cooperation in chemistry and industry as a whole is,” said Steilemann.
Following Covestro and its backers’ success, they now want to further develop the technology, with the end game being to enable the production of bio-based aniline on an industrial scale – something that has yet to be achieved. The research project on bio-based aniline will receive funding for the next two and a half years through the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (@FNR_de), a project agency of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Bio-Based World News reported on Covestro’s work with aniline back in June 2017, which it used in the production of dyes, drugs and plastics. At the time of writing five million tons of aniline were produced annually worldwide, a quantity that Covestro will no doubt be hopeful it can increase by using its bio-based solution that creates aniline derived from biomass. The company has now reached its June goal of producing bio-based aniline on an industrial scale, replacing fossil fuels with industrial sugar derived from materials such as corn, straw and wood.
You may also be interested in these stories…
Download: Bio-Based World Quarterly issue #9.