成本更低 副产物更少 可规模化生产 Novomer公司开辟二氧化碳有效利用新途径

  日前,美国Novomer公司宣布推出一个利用废物二氧化碳为原料大规模制造聚碳酸亚丙酯(PPC)的项目。利用这项技术,美国雅保公司已生产逾7吨成品。

  预计PPC将拥有超过10亿美元的应用市场,包括泡沫塑料、黏合剂、涂料和热塑性薄膜等。每生产1吨PPC意味着将有超过400千克的二氧化碳被转化为有价值的产品。应用康奈尔大学首创的一种新型催化剂体系,这一生产过程被证实是可行的。Novomer公司独家授权康奈尔大学研究开发这个催化剂体系。与现有工艺相比,预计最终产品成本更低,性能更好且更环保。

  Novomer公司独特的催化剂体系,能使废物二氧化碳与现有的化工原料反应,生产有经济价值的聚合物和多元醇。一般的催化剂系统只能用少量的二氧化碳生产聚合物,并且产生相当多不必要的副产物,这正是阻碍其成功商业化的主要原因之一。采用Novomer公司的催化剂,理论上聚碳酸酯产品中二氧化碳原料的使用量可以占40%~50%,而且几乎没有副产物,扫清了其商业化的主要障碍。

   Novomer公司的催化剂用于一种多元醇的制造过程,类似于现有生产聚醚多元醇的过程。目前,聚醚多元醇被广泛用于生产聚氨酯产品,这使现有的基础化工设备可直接用于PPC生产。Novomer公司的研究副总裁罗恩瓦伦特(Ron Valente)博士说:“利用现有设备生产PPC表明了我们的催化剂和制造工艺的先进性,如果有需求,我们有信心进行大规模生产”。

  与现有材料相比,Novomer公司的多元醇主要有三个优点。第一,使用废物二氧化碳作为生产原料,这是非常低碳的。第二,与传统的以石油为原料相比,用废物二氧化碳为原料显著地降低成本,使得Novomer公司的多元醇制造成本比传统的多元醇更低。此外,Novomer公司生产的100%聚碳酸酯PPC多元醇能够赋予聚氨酯独特的产品性能,比如:增加聚氨酯制品的强度和耐久性;将这些多元醇加入到某些产品现有的配方生产中,使泡沫材料具有更大的拉伸强度、撕裂强度和承载能力;黏合剂和涂料具有更好的附着力、黏合强度和耐候性;弹性体具有更大的拉伸强度和弯曲强度。

Chinese Press Release
Novomer Demonstrates Conversion of Waste CO2 to Valuable Products at Manufacturing Scale

Novomer Inc. has announced the world's first large-scale manufacturing campaign of Polypropylene Carbonate (PPC) made using waste CO2 as a raw material. Over seven tons of finished product was produced at Albemarle’s manufacturing facility in the United States.

PPC has a market potential of over US $10 billion in applications including foams, adhesives, coatings, and thermoplastic films.

Each ton of PPC sequesters over 400kgs of CO2 into valuable products.

The production process is made possible by a novel catalyst system first discovered at Cornell University, which Novomer has exclusively licensed and further developed.

The resulting products are expected to be lower cost, better performing, and more environmentally friendly than incumbent materials.

Novomer’s unique catalyst system enables waste carbon dioxide (CO2) to be combined with existing chemical raw materials, sequestering the CO2 in the backbone of useful polymers and polyols. Unlike other catalyst systems which incorporate only small to moderate amounts of CO2 into the polymer backbone and produce significant amounts of unwanted by-products, Novomer’s catalyst incorporates the theoretical maximum amount of CO2 into a perfect polycarbonate backbone containing 40-50% CO2 by weight. In addition, Novomer’s catalyst system produces virtually no byproducts, which has been one of the major barriers to the successful commercialization of PPC produced using older, less advanced catalyst systems.

The Novomer catalyst is used in a polyol manufacturing process which is very similar to the existing production process for polyether polyols, which are the polyols most commonly used to produce polyurethane products today. This enables existing chemical infrastructure to be used for PPC production. Novomer’s Dr. Ron Valente, Vice President of Research, said “this manufacturing campaign clearly demonstrates the robustness of our catalyst and manufacturing process and we are confident in the ability to move to a larger scale as demand warrants."

There are three principal advantages of Novomer polyols vs. incumbent materials. The use of waste CO2 as a significant raw material yields a product with an extremely low carbon footprint. In addition, since waste CO2 is significantly lower in cost than conventional petroleum-based raw materials, Novomer polyol manufacturing costs are favorable compared to conventional polyols. Finally, Novomer's precise, 100% polycarbonate PPC polyols offer unique product performance such as increased strength and durability of polyurethane products. Incorporating these new polyols into existing formulations yields foams with higher tensile, tear strength, and load bearing capacity; adhesives and coatings with improved adhesion, cohesive strength, and weatherabilty; and elastomers with greater tensile and flexural strength.

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