Covestro turns to biotechnology for sustainable plastics

Use of microorganisms and enzymes in production


  • New research group launched
  • Progress in extracting chemicals from plants
  • Further stimulus for the circular economy

Dr. Gernot Jäger (pictured on the left) heads the Biotechnology Competence Center at Covestro, which was established four years ago. The new junior research group for enzyme catalysis funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is headed by Dr. Lukas Reisky. © Covestro

Covestro is expanding its competencies in industrial biotechnology. The plastics manufacturer intends to make increasing use of microorganisms and enzymes to make its products and processes even more sustainable. In particular, new recycling processes based on biotechnology are also to be developed. To this end, the biotechnology competence center, which has been in operation for four years, has now been expanded to include a publicly funded research group. At the same time, Covestro is making progress in its efforts to produce the important chemical aniline entirely from plants for the first time with the help of microorganisms.

“Biotechnology has enormous potential to produce plastics in a more environmentally friendly and efficient way,” says Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro. “As an innovation-oriented company, we want to expand our capabilities in this area. In particular, we expect this to provide further stimulus for the circular economy, to which we are completely gearing our company.”

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