Vacation time is also hotel time. No rest without comfortable sleep. Vacationers and business travelers can now sleep on mattresses which contain recycled raw materials. BASF and NEVEON have demonstrated that this is possible. Together, the two companies have taken another step forward on their journey toward a circular economy. Using an innovative recycling process developed by BASF, it is now possible to produce polyol on a ton scale that is derived entirely from used mattresses. NEVEON processes this recycled polyol into new high-quality mattresses.
These mattresses are now being rolled out for the first time at BASF’s Business-Hotel René Bohn. “I am very pleased that the mattresses celebrate their premiere in our hotel. We are always on the lookout for sustainable alternatives and are particularly pleased to be able to demonstrate innovations from BASF,” said Alexander Gerung-Schaden, General Manager at the René Bohn. In total, the hotel has been equipped with about 100 of these unique produced mattresses.
The core of the mattress
Polyols and isocyanates are needed to produce polyurethane foam mattresses. BASF has now succeeded in producing high-quality polyols from used mattresses, instead of fossil raw materials. NEVEON further processes these recycled polyols into high-quality mattress foam, whose polyol component has an unprecedentedly high recycled content of 80 percent. "The challenge in producing foam blocks with such a high polyol content from end-of-life mattresses is to adjust the formulation and production so that all quality characteristics are identical to a product made from non-recycled polyol," explained Roland Krämer, Vice President Group R&D Innovation Excellence at NEVEON.
The second main ingredient of foam – isocyanates – is currently not available as a recyclate. In order to be able to manufacture mattresses in the most resource-conserving way possible, certified isocyanates and polyols from BASF's biomass-balanced (BMB) product line are used; in their production process, fossil raw materials are replaced by renewable raw materials at the very beginning of the value chain. “We are proud of the progress we are making in our partnership with NEVEON,” said Christopher Metz, Vice President for BASF’s European Isocyanates & Intermediates business. “However, the broad commercial availability of recycled polyols still lies ahead. We need to get all stakeholders along the value chain on board to be able to close the mattress loop in a targeted way.” The mattresses used in the Hotel René Bohn also have a special sustainable feature when it comes to processing the mattress foams: The various foam components are not glued together, unlike most comfort mattresses, but instead connected with an innovative zipper design. This makes it easier to recycle the individual components of the mattresses.
About the cooperation
Together, BASF and NEVEON 2021 have launched a cooperation with the aim of closing the loop in mattresses. By chemically recycling end-of-life mattresses, BASF is helping to replace fossil-based polyol with high-quality recycled polyol. NEVEON enables mattresses to be returned to the materials cycle and produces high-quality mattresses from recycled polyols whose quality does not differ from those made from virgin polyol.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €87.3 billion in 2022. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the United States. Further information at www.basf.com.
NEVEON is a leading, global, integrated foam company offering outstanding flexible and composite polyurethane foams for a huge range of applications, from the comfort segment through the transportation sector to a limitless variety of specialty applications. NEVEON is part of Greiner and with its products pursues the goal of contributing to the enhancement of the quality of life worldwide. With 57 locations in 17 countries, the foam specialist guarantees customer proximity, the shortest delivery times, and top quality. In the 2022 business year, NEVEON generated sales revenues of EUR 732 million and employed over 3,600 people. www.neveon.com