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Technology & Innovation

Green Power House Plus

AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals

Processes will have to make a huge leap forward in their development if we are to achieve our target to reduce CO2 emissions. The longer products and processes are in use, the more difficult it is to find new ways to improve them and make them more efficient, as is evident from the processes required to produce chlorine and salt. The law of diminishing returns applies. Huge investments in time and money are required for minor improvements. Nonetheless, our technologists continue to succeed to get more life out of long established products and processes by introducing new technology.

Another way of reducing CO2 emissions is introducing fundamentally new steps in our proces. For example, CO2 can be combined with hydrogen released during chlorine production for the formation of methanol. In this way, both byproducts have a new and sustainable use and it also saves money.

Yet Industrial Chemicals will not achieve its sustainability targets by only improving existing fossil fuel-based processes. To reduce CO2 emissions even further, we will need to embrace greener, non-fossil sources. Our production facility in Mariager in Denmark uses wood to generate electricity. Wood and other plant-based materials can also be used to produce chemical building blocks. That is why our Green Power House platform is being developed into a new platform, known as Green Power House Plus, which will use biomass as an energy and raw material source. The process used will rely on fermentation, i.e. white biotechnology. In other words, we aim to utilize micro-organisms such as fungi and bacteria, which convert biomass into basic chemicals such as ethanol en methanol, and then for example into acetic acid. A possible, and revolutionary, example might be chlorination produced via a biochemical route.