AkzoNobel to Explore Use of Waste as Feedstock

26.11.2014 -

AkzoNobel and a number of other Dutch partners from industry, along with government-linked organizations, have entered an R&D partnership with Enerkem, a Canadian firm manufacturing biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste.

The aim of the collaboration is to explore the use of waste streams, including residual municipal and agriculture waste, with an eye to developing feedstocks for chemical production. Alongside the AkzoNobel, initial partners are the investment and development agency for the Northern Netherlands (NOM), Groningen Seaports, Rotterdam Partners and InnovationQuarter. Others are being invited to join the project.

The goal, the chemical producer said, is to establish a group of partners that can make a "unique contribution." These could be waste management companies to provide the base material and processing capability, financial parties to arrange funding, end-use chemical companies to handle production and customer sales, and government to facilitate regional investment.

Within the next two to three years, the partners aim to have a plant in Delfzijl or Rotterdam, or both, and become the first in Europe to utilize the new technology.

Waste is under-utilized in chemical production, AkzoNobel stressed, adding that the advantage of Enerkem's proven conversion process is that it is complementary to existing technologies such as recycling and aerobic digestion.

"By making synthesis gas from waste we will have a sustainable and cost-effective feedstock for the chemical industry, which would be fully in line with our Planet Possible approach to sustainable manufacturing," said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, AkzoNobel's director of innovation and partnerships.