Brazilian delegation shows great interest in Biorizon

Wednesday March 12th a Brazilian delegation paid a visit to the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom to hear about the Biobased Delta, the Green Chemistry Campus and the developments around Shared Research Center Biorizon >> The Way to Aromatics. The delegation showed particular interest in Biorizon's open innovation approach with regard to the technology development of functionalized biobased aromatics.

The delegation from brazil included Mr. Gustavo Romeiro Ferreira from the National Confederation of Industry Brazil (NCI), Ms. Mariana Doria from the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (Abiquim), Ms. Isabella Scorzelli from FIRJAN (Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro), Mr. Egbert Hartsema from NFIA Brazil Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and Mr. Nelo Emerencia from the Dutch Association of Chemical Industry (VNCI).

Shared Research Center Biorizon >> The Way to Aromatics

The delegation from Brazil showed great interest in Biorizon >> The Way to Aromatics. This Shared Research Center focuses on the technology development of sustainable and profitable functionalized aromatics out of sugars and lignin. Biorizon is a cross-border initiative between TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus and is part of Biobased Delta.

Jan Harm Urbanus, Scientific Manager of Biorizon, explained that aromatic compounds are at the basis of our daily life. Among numerous applications, aromatics can be found in carpets, vitamins, tires, paints and flame-retardants. Currently Biorizon is talking to global industry leaders in the fields of feedstock, conversion, equipment and end products to invite them to join this Shared Research Center. During this industry consultation it became clear to Biorizon that the main focus of industry is not on premium value, but rather on security of supply.

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 feedstocks. Shale gas and shale oil are rapidly emerging as a new feedstock, but will produce mainly light fractions such as ethylene/propylene, and no aromatics in gas-fueled crackers. 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 urgently to address the ecological and economic challenges that humanity and industry are facing.

Besides ensuring security of supply, and CO2-reduction, Biorizon is also looking to establish cost reductions, develop new aromatic compounds (e.g. from lignin) and new products. The overall target is to create profitable business for the participating companies.

Brazil has feedstock in abundance and has a large internal market at its disposal, but according to the delegation the country could really use some help with regard to R&D. Currently Brazil is investing in various R&D programmes and the delegation expressed their intention to discuss the proposal of Biorizon with Brazilian industry.

Green Chemistry Campus: open innovation to create biobased business

Dennis van der Pas, Manager of the Green Chemistry Campus, welcomed the delegation to the Green Chemistry Campus. At the heart of the Biobased Delta, the Campus is established at the premises of SABIC Innovative Plastics. At the opening in 2011 the Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry (VNCI) awarded the Green Chemistry Campus the status of Center for Open Chemical Innovation (COCI). This states that VNCI considers the Campus an essential hotspot with appropriate knowledge and infrastructure at its disposal to co-develop a sustainable, knowledge-intensive and profitable future. With this status the Campus can count on the support and attention of Europe’s chemical and agricultural sector. Currently the Campus is developing plans for a demo-plant.

Biobased Delta: regional cluster with global appeal

The Green Chemistry Campus is located in the Biobased Delta: a cross-border region that is establishing the transition to world class biobased business with a focus on:

  1. green feedstock
  2. green building blocks
  3. sustainable process industry

The Biobased Delta, which is at the heart of industries between Rotterdam & Antwerp, profits from an excellent geographic position and infrastructure. Within this area companies, government and knowledge institutions work together on developing biobased business based on the principles of open innovation. Biobased Delta gathers a lot of international interest. Recently, in the presence of French president Hollande and Dutch minister president Rutte, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the ‘Industries & Agro-Ressources’ (IAR) Cluster in the Champagne-Ardenne and Picardy regions of France.

Both the Green Chemistry Campus and Biorizon highly valued the visit from the Brazilian delegation and are looking forward to the next meeting that might take place in Brazil! 

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This project is made possible by a contribution from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of OP-Zuid.

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