Project: CleverSPIN: Superior Polyurethanes by Innovative Nanocatalysts

Project goal: Polyurethanes, PU, are versatile polymers of choice for application areas such as adhesives, insulation foams, and automotive plastics. Chemical initiators, or catalysts, are needed to make PU and these may add undesirable smell or metal impurities to the product. Aim of the project is to exploit chemical nanotechnology to develop initiators enabling improved production of PU and conversion to make better, cleaner and smarter PU products._x000D_Background: The annual consumption of polymers in West Europe is about 39 million tons (1998) of which polyurethanes constitute the higher value end. In our region, the 2002 production of PU chemicals alone represented 3.35 million tons with a market value of € 3.4 billion of which 20% is exported. For Europe, the entire PU value chain based on aromatic diisocyanates and associated polyols involves more than 23,500 companies of which most are SMEs. It employs well over 800,000 workers and generates a market value of nearly €130 billion._x000D_Polyurethanes exist in many forms and have increasingly been used during the past thirty years. Key to their growing success and increased usage has been their ability to fulfil the high consumer expectations: comfort, value for money, energy saving insulation products, improved safety and environmentally sound products. One of the remarkable features is their durability, which contributes significantly to the long lifetimes of many products which contain polyurethanes The extension of product lifetime - and resource conservation - are important environmental considerations._x000D_The polyurethane value chain starts with the comparatively few major suppliers of the aromatic diisocyanates, MDI and TDI and / or associated polyols. Key producers are multinationals such as Bayer, Dow, BASF, Huntsman, Repsol and Shell. In addition to producing the primary chemicals, these companies operate as PU systems houses whose role is to produce tailor-made formulations and prepolymers (diisocyanates) which are aimed at specialist applications. Typically, the system houses produce prepolymers and formulations which are tailored for specific sectors involving automotive, adhesives, sealants, appliances, building & construction, binders, coatings, footwear, and furniture & bedding. _x000D_Polyurethane is derived from a chemical reaction of a diisocyanate with a polyol. Once this curing reaction has occurred, PU polymer is created that is safe and extremely versatile. It can have a number of diverse properties (resilience, flexibility, rigidity), depending on the choice of combined substances. _x000D__x000D_Project consortium: CO applicant is the Dutch SME Hybrid Catalysis B.V., a pioneer in the development of novel catalysts from a nanotech feedstock. The other applicant is Huntsman (Europe) BVBA based in Belgium, a multinational which is one of the leading PU chemical suppliers, serving the PU value chain with an excellent PU system house and marketing team. Huntsman (Europe) BVBA owns and operates the Huntsman Polyurethanes division R&D laboratories based in Everberg in Belgium where 450 people are employed. The project for which support is requested is a Research project which will take place in the Everberg laboratories for the Polyurethanes division of Huntsman._x000D__x000D_Since late 2007, Hybrid Catalysis and Huntsman have engaged in several collaborations aimed at catalyst development for various chemical processes. In these projects, Hybrid Catalysis provided custom synthesis of nanostructured catalysts and automated, combinatorial catalyst testing using state of the art robotic equipment. _x000D__x000D_The aim of the present project is to exploit joint IP* by further development and commercialization of new PU curing catalysts. Catalyst development will be steered by two factors: the joint technology push provided by Hybrid Catalysis and Huntsman's core science group and the vast marketing experience present in Huntsman's PU division._x000D_Novel, nanotech PU curing catalysts are expected to become one of Hybrid Catalysis' major products within three years of the start of this project. For Hybrid Catalysis, catalyst production and sales will mark the change from a very small, high-tech SME to a real chemical company. The project will further contribute to the success of Huntsman's PU activities and clearly contribute to the success of the European PU value chain._x000D__x000D_*Technical details, including chemistry and current state of the art are further described in a recent patent application by the applicants: WO 2011076570 (A1) - A METHOD TO FORM A POLYURETHANE MATERIAL; KLEIN RENE ALEXANDER [BE]; MARINUS CHRISTINA [BE]; LINDSAY CHRIS IAN [BE]; ABBENHUIS HENDRIKUS [NL]; WILTING JOS [NL]; GERRITSEN GIJSBERT [NL]

Acronym CleverSPIN (Reference Number: 6770)
Duration 01/03/2012 - 28/02/2015
Project Topic Development of PU curing catalyst is an ongoing process since there is a strong demand for better catalysts with lower VOC's , higher selectivity and stability. The aim of the project is to exploit chemical nanotechnology to develop such initiators enabling better, cleaner and smarter PU products.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
Huntsman (Europe) BVBA_x000D_Project Withdrawal on 09/12/2014_x000D_Expenditure date 11/03/2014_x000D_Expenditure amount €24,562.00_x000D__x000D_We received confirmation from the NFB that: _x000D_They will not proceed in any recovery _x000D_They performed all the checks and that all cost are eligible._x000D__x000D_Official letter save in O:\Eurostars\10 - NFB Matters\NFB Matters 2008 - 2013\12 - Recovery procedure\Recoveries\BE IWT\E! 6770 CleverSPIN_x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 7

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Hybrid Catalysis B.V. Coordinator Netherlands
2 Huntsman (Europe) BVBA Partner Belgium