Econic Presents at the 2023 Centre for Polyurethanes International Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

This year marks the 65th Centre for Polyurethanes International Conference and was held in San Antonio Texas. Every year the event is an opportunity for the industry to gather, share the latest developments and trends and discuss its key challenges. The keynote speaker this year was Debbie Mielewski who has just retired following a 36 year career at Ford. She shared her key learnings from three decades working on sustainability initiatives. It was clear that Debbie is a real pioneer in bringing major industry players together to enable sustainable solutions and she was a great choice to open the event. She presented us with the urgency of the problem we face but also the positive developments that we have seen over recent years, including actions to reduce biodiversity loss and effective efforts on closing the ozone layer hole.

Each of the three days of the event included a session on sustainability, demonstrating how focused the PU industry is on circularity and the climate. On day one it was sustainability within the automotive industry with Huntsman and Evonik sharing their latest developments on sustainable polyols for seating foams. Day two covered the latest developments in chemical recycling and on day three our CTO, Mike Kember, presented Econic’s latest flexible foams data. It was standing room only for Mike’s talk!

Other sessions looked at polyurethane applications in coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers and Wanhua gave several presentations, sharing their latest developments in isocyanate chemistry. There was also a regulatory update which looked at isocyanate safety in the EU, HFC blowing agents in rigid foams and sustainability claims in consumer goods.

The event was also an opportunity for Econic to catch up with our key partners in the USA, including Monument Chemical. We are excited to see them get started making CO2-based polyols in the new year. It was a chance for Richard Stevenson, our Senior Scientist leading application development, to share what we have been working on with customers and it was also his first time to Texas! Richard also attended a number of the technical development sessions learning from long-standing PU industry experts such as Stephen Reinstadtler from Covestro who uses Labradors and poodles to help explain polyurethane coating formulations.

It was a great and really productive event and we will be back again at CPI next year in Atlanta.

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