media release

AkzoNobel and Photanol developing chemical compounds of the future

AkzoNobel and cleantech company Photanol have teamed up to develop a process for harnessing the power of the sun to make chemicals.

The two companies will work on creating sustainable technology which mimics the way plants use photosynthesis. The aim is to produce "green" chemical building blocks that will eventually replace raw materials AkzoNobel currently obtains from fossil-based production.

"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," explained Peter Nieuwenhuizen, AkzoNobel’s Director of Innovation and Partnerships.

"We are constantly looking for less traditional solutions as we strive to do more with less and this exciting partnership – which has the potential to significantly reduce our carbon footprint – is a perfect example of our Planet Possible approach to sustainability."

The collaboration is focused on Photanol’s existing proprietary technology, which uses light to directly convert CO2 from the air into predetermined raw materials such as acetic acid and butanol. The only by-product is oxygen.

Michiel Lensink, Photanol CEO, added: "The cooperation with AkzoNobel is of major strategic importance to us. Not only does it give us access to a large potential market, but AkzoNobel's processing technology expertise also means that we will shorten our time to market."

The two companies will start by developing a number of specific chemicals that are currently used by AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals Business Area. The partnership is intended to be a stepping stone for potential commercial production of fourth generation bio-based chemicals.

AkzoNobel's chemicals are used extensively by the chemicals, detergent, construction, food, pulp and paper and plastic industries.

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