AzkoNobel, ARC CBBC Researches Bio-based Monomers to Make Resins for More Sustainable Coatings
AkzoNobel’s collaborative research with the Dutch Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) is unlocking new possibilities for paints and coatings. Their breakthrough innovation involves the development of a more sustainable way of making resins, which could pave the way for futuristic functions, such as intelligent paint that uses controlled release of active ingredients, or the ability to add new functionality during the lifetime of a coating. The new process uses bio-based monomers to make the resins. 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. AkzoNobel already produces many of its own resins, but in a bid to make the process more sustainable, the company has been working with the ARC CBBC, with most of this research taking place at the University of Groningen, where the team is led by professor in organic chemistry and Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa and PhD student George Hermens. “Faced with the challenge of developing the sustainable chemistry of the future, a major goal of the ARC CBBC, I’m extremely pleased with these game-changing results,” adds Feringa. “They show that material for coatings can be produced from biomass using a sustainable chemical process. Starting in 2018, the research project is still at a relatively early stage and a lot of work still lies ahead in order to optimize the monomers, so they can be made in a more efficient way and on a larger scale. Estimates suggest it could be around five years before the first products start to emerge.” By 2040 or 2050, there’s also a good chance that with this research, AkzoNobel might only be using bio-based monomers in our resin production, which will help them to reduce the overall carbon footprint of all their products.
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