Wednesday - December 21, 2016

Covestro and RWTH Aachen University extend collaboration

Added momentum in catalysis research

Continued support of the CAT Catalytic Center
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Covestro and RWTH Aachen University continue their successful collaboration: Dr. Markus Steilemann, the materials manufacturer’s chief innovation officer (center), and Rector Professor Ernst Schmachtenberg (left) have signed a new partnership agreement. Professor Walter Leitner, head of the CAT Catalytic Center, is pleased to receive 12 million euros for catalysis research.

Materials manufacturer Covestro and RWTH Aachen University are extending their partnership in catalysis research. Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Markus Steilemann and RWTH Rector Professor Ernst Schmachtenberg recently signed an agreement to this effect. Under the agreement, Covestro will contribute a total of 12 million euros over the next seven years to fund the CAT Catalytic Center in Aachen, operated jointly by the two partners.

They had originally joined forces in 2007 to establish the facility. The Center currently has 25 employees engaged in basic research into innovative technologies, with a focus on fundamental, long-term issues in catalysis research. Scientific director of the Center since its inception has been Professor Walter Leitner, Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry at RWTH.

“Our power to innovate is key to Covestro’s business success and thus its future. We therefore collaborate closely with the research community,” said Steilemann. “The CAT Catalytic Center and its international experts have produced many research results that have been extremely useful to us and our customers.”

Rector Schmachtenberg added: “The CAT Catalytic Center is representative of the fruitful partnership between science-oriented industry and application-oriented basic research. We are therefore very pleased that this facility has secured funding for the next few years.”

The greatest achievements by the CAT Catalytic Center and Covestro to date have been in the utilization of carbon dioxide as a new raw material in plastics production. The two partners developed a catalytic method and brought it relatively quickly to the point of market introduction.

Specifically, CO2 can now be used as component for manufacturing polyurethane foam. This material is normally produced entirely from petroleum. Covestro this year opened a plant with an annual production capacity of 5,000 metric tons at its Dormagen site.

The researchers at RWTH and Covestro have received several joint awards in recognition of their successful partnership, the most recent being the Innovation Award from industry market information provider ICIS in the Category “Innovation with the best benefit for the environment and sustainability.”

About Covestro:
With 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and as of the end of 2015 employed approximately 15,800 people (full-time equivalents).

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This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.