Covestro introduces polyether polyols made using bio-circular feedstocks, supporting production of alternative-based PU foams

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

September 13, 2022 (press release) –


  • Together with isocyanates, both important components for PU foams are now available on the basis of alternative raw materials
  • Reduced carbon footprint compared to raw materials based on fossil fuels
  • Same high quality as fossil-based products
  • Immediate use in existing processes without changeover
  • Maasvlakte and Dormagen sites are ISCC PLUS certified

Covestro now also offers polyether polyols using bio-circular¹ feedstock. Together with renewable1 toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and climate-neutral² methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), the company can supply both key raw material components for the production of polyurethane (PU) foams based on alternative raw materials. Like TDI and MDI, the polyols are produced with the help of the mass balance approach using renewable precursors – from biowaste and residual materials – which are allocated to the products by calculation.

PU rigid foams with MDI provide very efficient thermal insulation in buildings and refrigeration equipment. The soft foams using TDI provide a lot of comfort in mattresses and upholstered furniture, as well as in car seats and shoes. And with these polyols, Covestro is now able to offer selective prepolymers for various adhesive applications. The introduced mass balance approach enables the gradual substitution of fossil-based raw materials by bio-circular alternatives, which further improves the sustainability in these applications.

Covestro produces the polyether polyols in Dormagen, Germany, using the mass-balanced precursor propylene oxide from the shared site with LyondellBasell in Maasvlakte, The Netherlands. There, the two partners produce propylene oxide and styrene monomer as part of a joint venture. Both of the above-mentioned sites are certified according to the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS standard.

"With the introduction of both main components for polyurethanes based on alternative raw materials, we have reached another important milestone on the road to climate neutrality," says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. "We can now help customers in a variety of industries meet their climate goals and drive the transition to a circular economy. At the same time, we are reducing the CO2 footprint in various value chains."

Customers can use the more sustainable polyether polyols and isocyanates as a drop-in solution, meaning the raw materials can be quickly and easily integrated into existing production processes without the need for technical modifications. The products offer the same good quality as their fossil-based counterparts and meet the demands from various industries looking for alternative raw materials. They can be easily distinguished from their fossil counterparts through the CQ suffix in the product name. CQ stands for Circular Intelligence and highlights Covestro´s products and initiatives around circularity.

 ¹ The more sustainable polyether polyol as well as the renewable TDI are produced with the help of the mass balance approach using renewable raw materials – from biowaste and plant residues – which are mathematically attributed to the product.

² Climate neutrality is the result of an internal assessment of a partial product life-cycle from raw material extraction (cradle) to Covestro’s factory (gate), also known as the cradle-to-gate assessment. The methodology of our life cycle assessment, which has been critically reviewed by TÜV Rheinland, is based on ISO standards 14040 and 14044. The calculation takes into account the uptake of biogenic carbon. The calculation was based on preliminary data from the supply chain. No compensatory measures were applied.

About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality plastics and their components. With its innovative products and processes, the company contributes to greater sustainability and quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the globe in key industries such as mobility, construction and housing, and electrical and electronics. In addition, Covestro's polymers are used in areas such as sports and leisure, cosmetics, healthcare and in the chemical industry itself.

The company is fully aligned with the Circular Economy and aims to become carbon neutral by 2035 (Scope 1 and 2). In fiscal 2021, Covestro generated sales of €15.9 billion. As of the end of 2021, the company produced at 50 sites worldwide and employed around 17,900 people (converted to full-time positions).

Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG management. 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 provided here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports. These reports are available at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order chemicals industry coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.