Sleeping on a good mattress can be like sleeping on clouds. With the invention of carbon capture technology, that metaphor is closer to being literally true.
Econic Technologies is a UK-based a company that has developed catalyst technology to use waste carbon dioxide to make polycarbonate ether polyols, the building blocks of polyurethane foams used in mattresses.
The technology allows manufacturers to replace up to 50% of the fossil-based component in their polyols with captured CO2, without having to implement a host of modifications. It can operate efficiently under pressures low enough to be used in existing polymer manufacturing plants without the formation of significant by-products, according to Econic. The technology allows the level of CO2 to be controlled at a molecular level, reportedly enabling customers to produce cost-competitive polyurethane products with equal or higher performance and a lower carbon footprint.
Now, the company is using its polyols to produce viscoelastic (VE) foams, also known as memory foams. These captured carbon foams give mattress manufacturers the flexibility to fine tune rebound, recovery time, and tensile strength, giving way to a cloud-like sleep in a material recovered from the skies.
“Econic’s technology goes beyond sustainable materials,” said Econic’s CEO Keith Wiggins. “We’re setting a new standard of performance for the mattress industry. This represents a significant step towards a more circular economy without compromising on quality. Now mattress and furniture companies can deliver an even better consumer experience thanks to renewable carbon,” he added.
Last year, Econic inked a collaboration agreement with US-based Monument Chemical to develop CO2-based polyols in North America.