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Covestro Signs Up with Encina for Supply of Circular Raw Materials

Covestro will use the chemically recycled materials to produce polyurethane foams and polycarbonates.

Geoff Giordano

January 17, 2024

1 Min Read
Covestro Chief Technology Officer Thorsten Dreier (right) and David Roesser, CEO of Encina
Covestro Chief Technology Officer Thorsten Dreier (right) and David Roesser, CEO of Encina, agree to a long-term supply of chemically recycled raw materials.Image courtesy of Covestro

At a Glance

  • Encina is scheduled to bring circular raw material production online at the end of 2027
  • Agreement will help Covestro and its customers reduce Scope 3 greenhouse-gas emissions

In a big win for chemical recycling, high-performance polymer supplier Covestro is scheduled to begin taking delivery of chemically recycled benzene and toluene from US-based Encina for use in producing polyurethane foams and polycarbonates.

Encina, which produces ISCC PLUS–certified circular chemicals, is scheduled to bring production online at the end of 2027.  

Covestro uses benzene and toluene to produce methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which are used to produce rigid and flexible polyurethane foams for appliances, building insulation, furniture, car seats, and more. Benzene is also used to synthesize phenol and acetone, used in making polycarbonates like Covestro’s Makrolon brand, for automotive, electronics, and other applications.

"The ability to source raw materials from used plastics for the manufacture of our products makes a decisive contribution to realizing our vision of a circular economy," said Thorsten Dreier, chief technology officer at Covestro. "This is because such raw materials not only enable the reuse of used plastics, but also have a lower carbon footprint, which leads to more sustainable end products." 

Specifically, this supply agreement will help Covestro and its customers reduce their Scope 3 greenhouse-gas emissions.

Related:Unlocking Plastics Circularity: The Key Roles of Chemical Recycling and Waste Infrastructure

Encina uses proprietary catalytic technology to produce its circular plastic feedstock, derived from end-of-life plastics. 

"Encina is proud to be working with Covestro, a company with a long track record of innovation and commitment to sustainability. This agreement represents the beginning of what we hope to be a long-standing partnership between our companies as we work to create a truly circular economy and realize a future in which nothing is wasted," said Encina CEO David Roesser.

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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