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Chemicals Scale-Up Technology

CO2 + sunlight = chemicals at Photanol’s planned new demo plant.

CO2 + sunlight = chemicals at Photanols planned new demo plant.Exciting news in the Netherlands where one of the newer players in the market, Photanol are allying with one of the largest, AkzoNobel to further develop their partnership which began in 2014. The two companies are working jointly 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. The Amsterdam based Photanol will now develop a demonstration plat at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals Delfzijl site. 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.

Marco Waas, Director RD&I and Technology Industrial Chemicals at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals said: The joint development of Photanols 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.

Vronique de Bruijn, CEO of Photanol BV added: 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.

The new investors in Photanol are GROEIfonds, Innovatiefonds Noord-Nederland and Investeringsfonds Groningen. The new investment and the continued support of existing shareholders and partners are a testament to the potential of Photanols CO2-to-chemicals technology, De Bruijn said.

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Chief Technology Officer of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals added: 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.

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