With the development and launch of its NuVera range of polyurethanes based on renewable carbon, Stahl is once again demonstrating that its commitment to transitioning to more sustainable material solutions is more than just talk.
A founding member of the Renewable Carbon Initiative, the company, with headquarters in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, has undertaken to reduce the environmental impact of the industry by developing renewable carbon-based solutions.
“We are striving to replace traditional fossil-fuel or oil-based raw materials with renewable carbon-based alternatives,” said Eric Timmermans, Global Market Manager Synthetics, Performance Coatings Division.“In the end, we are trying to achieve the same performance while completely or partly converting to renewable resources.”
Stahl has not opted for a mass balance approach. The company has instead sought collaborations with partners with whom it has worked to develop novel, renewably-sourced monomers to replace the conventional ones it traditionally used to produce its polymers.
“Some have never been active before in this supply chain; others, like Stahl, decided to explore how they could replace at least a portion of their feedstock by feedstock based on renewables,” said Timmermans.
The development of such new building blocks is a process that takes several years, he stressed.
Stahl’s NuVera products are derived either from plant-based biomass – like vegetable oils or sugars – or from captured carbon: CO2 from industrial processes used as feedstock for chemicals.
These products can reach a renewable carbon content of up to 70%, depending on the availability of the renewable source and on the final performance. “We never sacrifice technical performance for the sake of renewable content but we use as much as possible,” said Timmermans. “That is not what the market is looking for. Our solution is to combine what is available in biomass-based raw materials with conventional raw materials in order to balance the performance.”
NuVera products can be used in a variety of coating applications, including pre-skin and top-coat formulations, PUD resins, adhesives and basecoats. The range currently comprises four polyurethane resin binders that are available as co-solvent-free water-based dispersions. Stahl is currently developing new products, including a high-solid (solventless) and crosslinkers, to strengthen the NuVera portfolio. All NuVera products comply with the latest standards and regulations, including the ZDHC Version 2.0 Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL).
Commercial availability of Stahl’s NuVera range is expected in the second half of the second quarter 2021.