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BMS: looking for new solutions  #10(116), 2012

On October 8th, 2012 at the Moscow office of CJSC Bayer the panel discussion took place with the  subject “Innovations and sustainability: from megatrends to business”. The event was timed to the two meaningful dates: the 75th anniversary of the invention of polyurethane by the German chemist Otto Bayer to be celebrated this year, and the upcoming 150th anniversary of the company Bayer AG

The round table was attended by Patrick Thomas, head of Bayer MaterialScience, a part of Bayer AG holding, Vera Nekhoda Khan, general director of CJSC Bayer, Muzaffer Yunver, director of the plant of polyurethane systems BaySystems in Noginsk, other representatives of Bayer, as well as editors and experts of the leading trade magazines.

The subject of discussion was the broadest application of plastics in the modern life and the particular contribution that was made and is still being made in this by Bayer MaterialScience. Citing specific examples, Patrick Thomas told the audience, how innovative solutions of BMS can improve the quality of people’s life and favour the sustainable development of society and economy.

 “Polymers that we produce for many years are of great importance for different industries - construction, automotive, electronics, furniture, - said Patrick Thomas at the beginning of round table. - However, there are factors in society development, forcing us to constantly seek for new approaches in material science: the desire for energy efficiency, solution of transport problems, the increasing speed of all processes, the necessity of permanent technological progress, urbanization, climate changes. 20 percent of products supplied by us nowadays, didn’t exist in principle just five years ago.”

Thus, the green CO2 letters of soft polyurethane foam that Patrick Thomas advised journalists to rumple, symbolize the transformation of carbon dioxide into polymeric material. The innovative project of Bayer MaterialScience bears nearly Hollywood name - Dream Production, and truly offers to attain unrealizable dream of before: to replace partly in polymers production the oil, which deficiency is constantly growing, by carbon dioxide that is presented in abundance, and thus accomplish the revolutionary transition from fossil raw materials to alternative resources. Dream Production project must make though limited but welcome contribution to climate protection. In February 2011, in Leverkusen, the first pilot facility was opened for chemical treatment of carbon dioxide produced in the energy sector. Currently, Bayer MaterialScience conducts rigorous testing of the properties of polyurethanes derived from CO2, and is planning to bring the new products to the market in 2015. In the meanwhile one Spanish furniture company is already successfully selling mattresses of innovative PU foams of BMS.

An acute issue of eco-commercial construction was also widely touched upon. According to Patrick Thomas, the idea of ??an all-out buildings’ energy passportization becomes relevant not only for Europe but also for Russia. Effective solution of this problem can be obtained via energy modeling system, being a part of EcoCommercial Building (ECB) program initiated by Bayer MaterialScience. ECB is a large, interdisciplinary network of partner companies that share comprehensive ECB approach and are involved in design and construction, development of the new materials to be used in the systems of insulation, glazing, flooring, corrosion protection, energy supply from renewable energy sources. Due to these innovative technologies enormous amount of the heat energy is preserved within the building and recuperated, whilst the expenses on such building’s construction will be paid their own way in five years. Two years ago the ECB program was launched also in Russia. Maxim Grishin, dealing with program’s development in Russia, informed about the first results. Within the program terms and limits till the end of 2012 there will be put into operation the environmentally safety and energy-efficient apartment building in Voronezh, there were already built the administration building Hypercube in Skolkovo and the house of ‘Fund of assistance of housing and communal services’ reforms’.

Bayer MaterialScience is for years involved in an ongoing improvement of getting energy of wind. And in the case of turbine rotor blades, the electricity yield is a function of how long they are. Currently their length is limited to around 60 meters. But the tiny particles from Bayer MaterialScience are about to take this to a new dimension: Baytubes® carbon nanotubes together with polyurethane integral foam Baydur® make the blades stronger while reducing their weight, thus allowing them to be substantially larger than before.

 “Muscular” polymers to create electronic devices operating on the principle “compression-expansion” and capable to transfer the amazing tactile sensation of vibration; thermal-resistant lenses of PC for LED bulbs in street lighting; economical adhesive junction instead of welded one; anti-vandal and lightweight auto glasses of polycarbonate instead of common glass; lightweight but rugged fasteners ?of aluminum and carbon tubes instead of steel; ?cheap furniture plates of rice husk and PU foam instead of expensive wood - these are only some of know-hows Patrick Thomas spoke about.

A special pride of BMS is a partnership in the Solar Impulse project. Since 2010 pilots, scientists and technologists are working on invention of an aircraft, capable to fly around the world being feeded solely by solar energy. Due to ideas of Bayer MaterialScience on construction lightening and development of efficient energy carriers, the prototype of an aircraft with a wingspan like large airliner has (63,4 meters) but with a weight not exceeding the one of a medium-sized car (1,6 tons), has already made the first successful flights. Today the researchers’ aim is to create till 2014 the second manned model, which will fulfill the round-the-world flight in five steps. Already now with the aid of BMS solutions ‘twas managed to reduce the cabin weight to a record 20 kg, at that it can withstand the extreme temperature drops that will occur during a flight, maintaining a comfortable environment for pilot. “The experimental craft Solar Impulse for us – is a symbol of a reckless onward movement, without any compromises and bounds, - noted Patrick Thomas. - Participating in this project, BMS is implementing the idea which is enshrined in our motto: “Science for better life”. The essence of the Solar Impulse project is not only the use of “more pure” energy, but in the use of “absolutely pure” one. Through the use of innovative materials we can favour solutions of such mankind problems, as growth of population and mobility.”

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