The Germany-based Nova Institut says polyethylene and polypropylene made using CO2 as a feedstock will be on the market within the next 5-10 years. Nova spokesperson Dr Fabrizio Sibilla says the process will provide a number of environmental benefits, which is why several countries are researching using CO2 as a feedstock, notably Australia, China and the US. Nova Institut is currently organising the Conference on Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Chemicals and Polymers, which will take place in Essen, Germany, in October. Speaking about the technology, Sibilla said: “If someone takes CO2 as a reactant, this can then be reduced to methane or Methanol. This can be converted to ethylene or propylene which can then be polymerised.” This technology is already on the market where CO2 is already used as a reactant, for example for polyurethanes at Bayer and a polycarbonate at DSM, and many other companies are ready to move into this area over the next two years, including German chemicals manufacturer Evonik. Sibilla declined to give exact figures for the energy savings because life cycle analyses are still in progress but said the materials show exactly the same qualities as those produced by conventional means. The total environmental benefit will depend on where the CO2 comes from.