The magazine Technology Review has ranked Covestro as one of the 50 most innovative companies of 2017. A highly sustainable production process earned the materials manufacturer a place in the global ranking by the German-language edition of the research magazine, which is published by the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and honors “groundbreaking ideas and pioneering advances.” The selections for the ranking were announced at a gala event in Berlin.
Covestro has successfully used plant-based raw materials to produce aniline, an important chemical compound in chemical industry and the company’s manufacturing processes. This results in savings of petroleum, the raw material that has generally been used. The ranking’s top 50 include start-ups as well as other multinational companies such as Amazon, Alphabet Inc. (Google), Merck and Daimler.
A BROADER BASE OF RAW MATERIALS
“We are delighted to be honored by Technology Review, and this recognition demonstrates once again our company’s great capacity for innovation,” said Dr. Markus Steilemann, Covestro’s Chief Commercial Officer, who is responsible for innovation, marketing and sales. “Being able to derive aniline from renewable raw materials is a further key step towards making the chemical and plastics industries more independent of scarce fossil raw materials and market fluctuations. It’s another example of how we are pursuing our vision for making the world a brighter place.”
Covestro developed the entirely new production process in collaboration with partners – the University of Stuttgart, the CAT Catalytic Center at RWTH Aachen University, and Bayer AG – and has confirmed its feasibility in the laboratory. One hundred percent of the carbon in the aniline produced in this way is derived from biomass. The process is now being carried over to production of greater technical dimensions. The ultimate goal is to produce bio-based aniline on an industrial scale. That would be an unprecedented achievement in the industry.