Avantium Buys Liquid Light CO2 Technology

12.01.2017 -

Dutch renewables group Avantium has acquired the assets of Liquid Light, a US company using waste CO2 to produce chemical, for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which effectively completes Avantium’s portfolio of CO2-based chemicals and polymers, combines both companies’ technologies to develop a world-leading electrocatalysis platform and novel processes for converting the unwanted but valuable greenhouse gas into chemicals and materials.

Spun out of Princeton University in 2008, Liquid Light has spent more than $35 million on developing low-energy electrochemical technologies to convert CO2. It has filed more than 100 national patent applications, of which over 20 have been granted. The New Jersey-based firm has patents on producing chemicals including oxalic acid, glycolic acid, ethylene glycol, propylene, isopropanol, methyl methacrylate and acetic acid, which are used to make polymers, coatings and cosmetics.

“The acquisition of Liquid Light is an important step in our strategy to create and commercialize breakthrough technologies in renewable chemistry. It will extend our capabilities beyond catalytic conversion of biomass,” noted Avantium CEO, Tom van Aken. He added that the integration of assets has been completed.

Avantium said electrochemistry – the use of electrical energy and catalytic reactions to drive chemical reactions – has the potential to be a “game-changer” for the chemical industry, enabling CO2 to be sequestered into products that can replace fossil-based chemicals and plastics.

Last October, Avantium and BASF formed Synvina to commercialize new polymer polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) and its bio-based feedstock furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Leading food and drinks companies such as Coca Cola and Danone have partnered and funded Avantium’s efforts to develop PEF bottles. A 50,000 t/y reference FDCA plant will be built at BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium; however a timescale for the project has not been revealed.