CO2-Technology Among Top 3 Inventions

04/05/2021

Initiators of the CAT Catalytic Cente nominated for the European Inventor Award

  Prof. Leitner and Dr. Gürtler show a model of the CO2 molecule

CO2-Technology among top three inventions

  • Dr. Christoph Gürtler and Prof. Walter Leitner are nominated in the category industry
  • Utilizing CO2 as raw material
  • Technology offers foundation for a large number of marketable products

The European Patent Office (EPO) nominated the initiators of the CAT Catalytic Center Christoph Gürtler (Covestro AG) und Prof. Walter Leitner (Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Energiekonversion and RWTH Aachen University) as finalists in the category “industry” for their development of a novel CO2 utilization invention. This technology allows to exploit the harmful greenhouse gas CO2 as valuable resource for sustainable synthetic materials. Making use of catalysts, this strategy promotes the chemical reactions between CO2 and conventional materials to synthesize polymers in a sustainable and economical acceptable manner. Through this bonding the CO2 is permanently fixed into the material.

Successful Partnership between Industry and Science

“The successful partnership between fundamental research and industrial know-how laid the foundation for this development, ”says Leitner. “It is a rare stroke of luck for me as well as for the young scientists involved in such a process.”

"This nomination is an important confirmation of our efforts to make chemistry more sustainable", says Christoph Gürtler, who is responsible for the development of new processes and products at Covestro. "It is a great honor to be present at the award ceremony on behalf of the interdisciplinary team from product research, process development, marketing and the many other minds behind the invention."

The two nominees Gürtler and Leitner have made a significant contribution to the development and market launch of the platform technology, which has its origins in the cooperation between application-oriented science and research-oriented industry. In 2007, Covestro and RWTH Aachen University jointly founded the CAT Catalytic Center. The two researchers are considered to be the "architects" of this cooperation model, which combines freedom for creativity with target development.

Contribution to conserving resources and circular economy

The use of CO2 makes an important contribution to the circular economy. By partially replacing conventional crude oil as carbon source with the greenhouse gas CO2, resources are conserved. The carbon, in turn, is retained in the cycle without being released into the atmosphere. At the same time, initial studies suggest that this technology can als be used to produce more recyclable synthetic materials. Researchers at the CAT Catalytic Center and the ITMC at RWTH Aachen University cooperate with interdisciplinary teams at Covestro to make the vision of closed carbon cycles a success in other applications too!

Award at European Level

The Inventor Award of the European Patent Office, which was launched 2006, honors outstanding European inventors and teams and is one of the most prestigious awards of its kind. Three teams have been nonminated in the Industry category. You can vote online for your favourite inventor.

Further Reading