The world’s first synthetic sports flooring produced with carbon dioxide has been installed at the field hockey facilities of a renowned sports club in Krefeld in western Germany.
The CO2 for the subfloor is contained in a binder – or more precisely, in one of its components, a so-called polyol. So far, the new CO2-based material called cardyon, developed and marketed by Covestro, has been used to produce soft polyurethane foam for mattresses and upholstered furniture, which is already being marketed. The further development for use in sports is now the next step in the expansion of the range of applications.
Using CO2 and saving oil
"The use of carbon dioxide as a new raw material is a promising approach for making production in the chemical and plastics industries more sustainable," explained Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. "This way, we use CO2 in a closed-loop process and save oil. On this basis, we want to offer a comprehensive product portfolio for as many areas of application as possible – in line with our vision of making the world a brighter place."
The first customer for the new binder produced with CO2 is the globally active sports flooring producer Polytan. The company from Burgheim, Bavaria, which belongs to the Sport Group, uses the material to produce elastic underfloors together with rubber granulate. "We attach great importance to using sustainable raw materials and are always on the lookout for ecologically more sensible alternatives to conventional products. Ideally, even the quality of the product can be improved. Covestro guarantees exactly that with cardyon", said sport group purchasing manager Daniel Klomp.
The first CO2-based floor is now in use at the "Crefelder Hockey and Tennis Club". The traditional club maintains one of the leading field hockey facilities in Germany, which repeatedly serves as a venue for international matches and championships. The subfloor was laid on a 99 x 59-meter playing field and serves to cushion the effect of a new, bright blue artificial turf, also from Polytan. "Sport is not just healthy, it can also contribute to sustainability. We are proving this with the newly equipped hockey field, which will certainly make our club even more attractive," explains club manager Robert Haake.
The use of CO2 as a raw material for plastics is made possible by a particularly environmentally friendly technology that Covestro has developed together with its partners. CO2 is used as a supplier of the important element carbon – instead of petroleum-based raw materials. Up to 20 percent of traditional fossil raw materials can thus be replaced by carbon dioxide. Covestro produces the new CO2-based polyols at its Dormagen site near Cologne. The carbon dioxide comes from a neighbouring chemical company, which produces it as a by-product.