Biomass breakthrough for sustainable resins

A biomass breakthrough paves the way for more sustainable paints and coatings Photo: AzkoNobel

AkzoNobel and the Dutch Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) have unlocked a more sustainable way of making resins which could pave the way for future innovations such as ‘smart’ paint or adding new functionality during the lifetime of a coating.

The new process uses bio-based monomers to make the resins, rather than the traditional oil-based. Requiring just UV light, oxygen and renewable raw materials, patent applications have already been filed for resins and coatings made with monomers derived from sugar derivatives isolated from biomass.

A new future for paint

“We’re opening up a new future for paints and coatings by using sustainable building blocks that will enable us to explore and develop some really exciting functionalities for our customers,” explained Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s chief technology officer.

The research project began in 2018, mostly taking place at the University of Groningen with a team led by professor in organic chemistry and Nobel Prize winner, Ben Feringa, and PhD student, George Hermens. Estimates suggest it could be around five years before the first products start to emerge.

“We’ve still got a long way to go in terms of exploring the scope of the technology, but it will almost certainly define the future of our products,” said Mr Kruithof.

A detailed explanation of the science behind the development of the new process can be found in a research article which has just been published in the journal Science Advances.

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