Europe: Closed Loop for High-Performance Insulation Material

Closing the materials cycle for rigid polyurethane foams is the goal of a new pan-European project.

The EU-funded project “Circular Foam”, coordinated by German-based polymer company Covestro, brings together 22 partners from nine countries. Within four years, the participants from industry, academia and society want to establish a complete circular value chain for raw materials for rigid polyurethane foams used as insulation material in refrigerators and the construction industry. As reported by German non-profit Dechema (Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie – Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology), the project will not only focus on the development of two novel chemical recycling routes for end-of-life materials. “It will also help set up and demonstrate corresponding logistics and waste collection systems, elaborate on dismantling and sorting solutions, as well as the design of future products and materials for enhanced recyclability.” Once implemented across Europe, the system could help save one million tons of waste, 2.9 million tons of CO2 emissions and 150 million euros in incineration costs annually, starting in 2040.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2022, Page 8, Photo: Wolfgang Eckert auf Pixabay )