Profile & expertise

Covestro is a world’s leading supplier of high-value polymer materials that are essential in modern life. The Germany-based company provides a broad range of products and application solutions for key sectors such as transportation, construction, electronics, furniture, sports equipment and textiles.  Highly innovative and focused on sustainability, Covestro constantly strives to push boundaries to make the world a brighter place.

In 2018, the company – listed at the German stock exchange – generated sales of more than 14.6 billion euros. It has about 16,800 employees spread across 30 sites throughout Europe, Asia and America.

Sustainability is a key element of the corporate strategy. Major goals are to reduce emissions in production and along the value chain, reduce the dependency on fossil raw materials, and increase the overall resource efficiency, in the overall context of a comprehensive circular economy. An example of how Covestro contributes to closing cycles is the usage of CO2 as a new raw material in plastics production, allowing to partly replace conventional petroleum-based feedstock.


Role in the Project

The contribution of Covestro within PUReSmart is broad, supporting all major work packages (WP), based on its fundamental knowledge in PU chemistry. In WP 1 and 4 the CAPU chemistry is strengthened by the company’s expertise of solving/combining molecules in different types of polyols, finding the most suitable combination for flexible foam applications. Experts for PU spectroscopy and data science are able to use complex datasets to improve sorting abilities of end-of-life PU waste (WP 2). A pre-sorted waste stream is a key outcome for an efficient chemolysis (WP 3). In house, Covestro has strong competencies for different kind of phase separation, a technology essential for having a qualitative isolation of chemicals of interest such as the aromatic amines, polyols or the solvent (glycol). A unique method within the project team is the phosgenation of aromatic amines to generate isocyanates, a key raw material for the reproduction of foam. Up-scaling is a major challenge for obtaining efficient volumes of the PU key raw materials. Covestro has several reactors with increasing capacities and process properties (pressure, heat, etc.), capable to perform a high range of reactions. In physical testing centers Covestro can finally investigate the performance and specification of recycled flexible foam material. Based on its input in the WP 1-4, Covestro can support WP 5 (LCA, business case).


Karin Clauberg

+49 214 6009 5699

Karin Clauberg has an engineering background and started to work at Covestro about 10 years ago, holding different functions in the are of R&D and industrial marketing. The positions were linked to project management, technology and innovation development and its implementation.
Since 2 years she is responsible for the Chemical Recycling Innovation Platform of flexible polyurethane foams at Covestro. Her work is focusing on the development and industrialization of the technology in line with Covestro’s vision to be fully circular.

Dr. Sebastian Pohl studied chemical engineering with focus on process engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and performed his PhD in the field of thermal process technology at the University of Kaiserslautern. In his function as research assistant he managed and supported several scientific projects in the field of heat transfer. He joined Covestro in 2018 as an expert for heat transfer and is the technical project lead for the design, construction and operation of the piloting unit for flexible foam recycling regarding WP3 at Covestro.

Dr. Klaus Lorenz studied chemistry at the University of Freiburg, Germany. After having received his Ph. D. in Macromolecular Science in 1998, he started his professional career in the Polyurethane Research Department of the Business Group Polyurethanes of Bayer AG. From 2000 to 2003 he was responsible for the development of polyurethane rigid foam systems for the European household and commercial appliances industry. As of end of 2003 he has been working successfully in the field of polyether process development with special focus on the overall polyether production process chain, base and DMC catalyzed processes and the use of renewable raw materials. His broad knowledge in PU chemistry as well as his work on polyether production are crucial skills for WP1 and 4.

Dr. Sascha Fröbel is a material innovation scientist in the Polyurethane Product Research division at Covestro. With his expertise in materials characterization and optical spectroscopy techniques, Sascha supports WP 2. He has a background in physical chemistry with a particular focus on experimental data analysis and optical characterization of materials. He was educated at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf where he received his doctorate degree in 2016 supported by the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). His postdoctoral research at The Ohio State University (2016-2017) was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.