Covestro and Reverdia to Develop Bio-based TPU Foam

Covestro, the formerly Bayer MaterialScience, and green chemistry specialist Reverdia, the Dutch-based biomaterials joint venture of DSM and Roquette Frères, have agreed to jointly develop and promote thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) based on renewable raw materials.

The German engineering plastics producer will use Reverdia’s Biosuccinium succinic acid to produce its Desmopan brand TPU for use in a variety of applications, such as footwear and consumer electronics.

Biosuccinium has been produced at commercial scale since 2012 using the Dutch firm’s patented low-pH yeast process. The technology will give Covestro a head-start into the biopolymers market, which it plans to leverage in expanding its bio-based TPU production in Taiwan to industrial scale.

Reverdia, which began licensing the technology last year, said its simulations show a reduction of roughly 65% in the carbon impact of products made with succinic acid compared with those produced with petrochemicals.

The company’s route to succinic acid, which can be used as a drop-in replacement for the fossil-based acid to produce polybutylene succinate (PBS) as well as phthalate-free plasticizers and polyester polyols for polyurethanes, uses starch as a feedstock.

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