AkzoNobel and Photanol to Develop Green Building Blocks

18.09.2014 -

AkzoNobel has teamed up with Dutch biotechnology specialist Photanol to develop a solar power route to green chemistry.

In the partnership designed to be a stepping stone for potential commercial production of fourth generation bio-based chemicals, the companies plan to explore sustainable technology that mimics the way plants use photosynthesis.

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Akzo Nobel's director of innovation and partnerships, described Photanol's existing CO2 technology as a "potential game changer, saying the company is constantly looking for less traditional solutions with the potential to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

"Given the challenges the world is facing in terms of resource scarcity, we are actively looking for bio-based alternatives for our chemicals, and Photanol's existing technology is a potential game-changer," Nieuwenhuizen added.

The collaboration will focus on a Photanol process that uses light to directly convert CO2 from the air into selected raw materials such as acetic acid and butanol, with oxygen as the only byproduct.

Michiel Lensink, CEO of Photanol, which had been seeking partnerships with major companies, said the cooperation with the chemical producer is "of major strategic importance" not only because it provides access to a large potential market, but also because tapping the industrial partner's processing technology expertise will shorten the products' time to market.

The partners will start by developing a certain unspecified chemicals currently used by Akzo Nobel's Specialty Chemicals business area.