Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany), the company formerly known as Bayer MaterialScience, and Reverdia (Geleen, Netherlands), a producer of bio-based succinic acid, have reached an agreement to jointly develop and promote thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) based on renewable raw materials. Reverdia, the joint venture between Royal DSM and Roquette Frères, the global starch and starch-derivatives company is known for the quality and purity of its Biosuccinium succinic acid. Covestro has elected to employ Biosuccinium for the production of its Desmopan brand of TPU for use in a variety of applications, including in the footwear and consumer electronics industries.
Reverdia’s production process is based on proven technology, allowing Covestro to capitalize on years of research. Reverdia took the production of its succinic acid, which is based on a patented low-pH yeast technology, to commercial scale in 2012. In addition, the company started licensing this a year ago, enabling companies to integrate bio-succinic acid production into their business offering, to improve the carbon footprint along the process chain. “Reverdia’s yeast process has proved to be a particularly sustainable method for the production of bio-based succinic acid,” said Reverdia President Marcel Lubben.
Covestro already offers bio-based Desmopan products in various hardness grades, including 85 Shore A, 95A and 60D. They match the excellent physical properties of conventional grades while also providing a better carbon footprint along the value-added chain. Simulations by Reverdia suggest a roughly 65% reduction in the carbon impact compared with products produced with petrochemicals. The biomass content of the Desmopan TPU in the aforementioned hardness grades is 65% (85 Shore A), 52 percent (95A) and 42 percent (60D).
“Our customers in the footwear and consumer electronics industries are constantly looking for new solutions to reduce their CO2 footprint, and bio-based TPU from Covestro is one such solution,” said Marius Wirtz, Global Head of the TPU business. “We are looking forward to working with Reverdia to bring these modern materials to the market.”
The company plans to expand its bio-based TPU production in Taiwan to industrial scale.
The partnership represents a long-term investment by both parties, with as aim to jointly develop bio-based materials for both industries.
“We value our partnership with Covestro,” said Lubben. “These applications, which have now reached industrial scale, underscore the good properties of Biosuccinium and its potential to improve the climate balance of consumer products.”