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Saturday, 21 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Science today - coatings tomorrow

Greening the chemical industry

Thursday, 12 December 2013

TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus launch Biorizon – The Way to Aromatics.

Developing aromatics out of agro-residuals is the goal of the research project
Source: Sergej Khackimullin - Fotolia.com

Developing aromatics out of agro-residuals is the goal of the research project
Source: Sergej Khackimullin - Fotolia.com

This Shared Research Center is anticipating the expected growing shortage of aromatics from the petrochemical industry and the widely shared ambition to green the chemical industry. Biorizon has received EUR 2.5 million start up funding that enables them to start working on innovative technologies to develop aromatics out of agro-residuals.

Replacing current aromatic petrochemical building blocks

Biorizon's initial focus will be on the technology development for the production of biobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals and coatings. Aromatics represent a significant share of our today’s chemical building blocks, not only in order to create fuel components, base chemicals or polymers, but also to create polymer additives, colorants, flavors and fragrances. The market for aromatics is growing 5 to 10% annually. Currently virtually all aromatic building blocks are made from fossil oil that will become scarce. Hence, it is important to develop technology to replace the current aromatic petrochemical based building blocks by alternative feedstock. Shale gas and shale oil are rapidly emerging as a new feedstock, and they produce no aromatic compounds contrary to fossil oil and naphta.

Accelerating the innovation required

Given the global challenges that society is facing with respect to CO2 emissions, pollution, global warming and shortage of suitable fossil oil reserves, new biobased production routes need to be realized to address the ecological and economic challenges that humanity and industry are facing. For the initiators − TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus − Biorizon is an opportunity to accelerate the innovation required and, in doing so, contribute to the realization of the biobased economy as well as to the success of the industry. Biorizon has received a subsidy from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Dutch government under the Operational Program South Netherlands (OP-Zuid). To assure the achievement of Biorizon's goal – commercialization of bio-aromatics business on the short, medium and long-term – Biorizon developed a roadmap, which will be further developed by the participating industrial organizations.

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