Ecomaison, Covestro, Secondly and Federal Eco Foam launch research project

Ecomaison, Covestro, Secondly and Federal Eco Foam launch research project

Covestro coordinates the research & development activities

  • By ICN Bureau | May 31, 2024

French company Ecomaison has dedicated itself to collecting and recycling used furniture and has been working with Covestro for a few years to utilize its chemical recycling technology for this purpose. With this advanced process, both raw materials originally used can be recovered – the polyol as well as the precursor to the isocyanate TDI.

The aim of the partners is to recycle the sorted polyurethane foams as efficiently as possible by combining mechanical and chemical technologies after careful sorting by foam type in the mattress cutting plants.

Collaborations leveraging own expertises with like-minded partners are key: In addition to Ecomaison and Covestro, the French dismantling company Secondly and Federal Eco Foam, a Belgian specialist in the mechanical recycling of flexible foams, are involved as partners in the project, which is planned to run for a maximum of 24 months. The project is called Foam Recycling Ecosystem Evolution (FREE) and coordinated by Covestro and half-funded by Ecomaison.

For the FREE consortium, the motivation lies in the added value of the material that can be recovered from the used foams and the opportunity to enter a more sustainable circular economy. The partners want to explore all possibilities in a future-oriented foam recycling ecosystem and are convinced that chemical and mechanical recycling will complement each other in a meaningful way. As dismantler and sorting actor, Secondly is interested in empowering its sorting processes to be able to supply to recyclers a specified quality of foam.

At the same time, the project will provide a good picture of how the foam recycling market in the coming years may look like. The partners truly believe that chemical and mechanical recycling can be complementary given different specifications of inlet materials being sorted already at dismantlers. To provide added value to the PU foam material, the consortium will investigate all possibilities in a future oriented eco-system of foam recycling.

The research and development project includes the foam sorting at the dismantling step, as well as a comparative feasibility study for two recycling processes for the sorted foams covering economic and ecologic value co-creation.

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