AkzoNobel, Photanol build sunlight-to-chemicals demo plant

AkzoNobel, Photanol to build sunlight-to-chemicals demo plant

4:42 AM, 11th September 2018
Pilot plant

DELFZIJL, NETHERLANDS: AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and partner firm Photanol BV are going to build a demonstration plant for a groundbreaking technology to produce chemicals from sunlight.

The plant will be built at AkzoNobel's site in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.

The companies formed a partnership in 2014 to jointly work on a technology using cyanobacteria that mimics the way plants use photosynthesis to produce chemical building blocks such as organic acids from carbon dioxide (CO2). These have applications in biodegradable plastics, personal care products and as intermediates for the chemical industry.

Photanol has closed a financing round with a group of Dutch investment firms that will allow the construction of the unit to go ahead; completion is expected in 2020.

The new investors in Photanol are GROEIfonds, Innovatiefonds Noord-Nederland and Investeringsfonds Groningen.

“The joint development of Photanol’s production capability is part of our strategic choice to collaborate with innovative companies to drive growth by developing more sustainable chemical platforms for our customers,” said Marco Waas, director RD&I and Technology - Industrial Chemicals at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.

“The Photanol team is keen to prove to the world that we can make a big difference by producing clean chemicals while reducing the CO2 burden on the environment,” added Veronique de Bruijn, CEO of Photanol BV.

“This is the next step in our partnership, where Photanol will ultimately produce a new and low-cost intermediate for one of our businesses. This will allow us to make a step change in profitability and product quality. We are proud to support Photanol making chemicals from sunlight at scale, and to help grow a profitable, green chemical cluster in Delfzijl,” added Peter Nieuwenhuizen, chief technology officer of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals

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