Dow Teams Up with Mobius to Provide New Recycling Technology

Midland, MI - The Dow Chemical Company has entered an agreement to promote Mobius Technologies' new polyurethane foam-recycling equipment and technology and Dow's polyurethane raw materials.

Through this agreement, technology is now available to flexible foam producing customers that gives them an economical way to turn scrap foam into an asset and thereby considerably reduce the costs of producing new foam. As part of the agreement, Dow and Mobius will jointly market Mobius' equipment and Dow's polyol and isocyanates.

"Our commitment to constant innovation is an integral part of what Dow's polyurethanes business is all about, as is the importance we place on environmental responsibility and meeting our customers' needs," says David Fischer, vice president, Global Polyurethanes. "This agreement with Mobius fits well with those commitments and is a very promising development for Dow, both in environmental and economic terms."

Mobius' recycling technology also enables the automotive industry to economically recycle polyurethane seat foam and thereby helps customers meet the European Union's increasingly stringent directives on recycling automobile materials at the end of a vehicle's life.

Steven English, Business Development Director, Polyurethane Flexible Foams adds, "Customers in the foam industry are under tremendous and continuous pressure to recycle and are searching for economically-viable recycling solutions. Helping our existing customers respond to this pressure is what this agreement is all about."

Mobius' polyurethane flexible foam recycling technology pulverizes scrap foam left over from the foam-producing process into powder of less than 50 microns. The powder is fine enough so that it can be mixed into polyols and used as compatible filler for the production of new foam. The powdered additive can replace up to 10-12 percent of new polyol, lowering the costs associated with producing new foam.

The Mobius technology allows scrap from either flexible or molded sources to be used in this new recycling process. The scrap foam may come from existing molded or slab polyurethane flexible-foam products, such as the seats salvaged from a discarded automobile. Scrap can also be obtained from the trimmings produced during the foam production process, such as cutting and shaping in slab production. The innovative Mobius process allows the materials used to create new foam to retain physical properties as specified by the manufacturer, though a portion of the materials used are recycled.

Bryan Martel, President of Mobius Technologies commented, "This agreement between Dow and Mobius allows us to provide a sustainable and economic advantage to our customer, the foam manufacturer. With the supply of scrap foam continuing to grow, so is the margin between scrap and chemical prices; this margin is what drives the business opportunity for the foamer. We have put together a great team to move this technology into the marketplace."

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