Biorizon moves forward with bio-aromatics research

Biorizon and partners have been granted a European and provincial contribution to organize, coordinate and scale up the research in the field of bio-aromatics in Southern Netherlands.

Biobased aromatics offer industry profitable ánd sustainable perspective

In the project, named SCeLiO-4B (Sugars, Celluloses and Lignin Scaling up towards BioBased Building Blocks), the partners will cooperate to investigate, develop, test and scale up innovative processes and (by) products in the field of bio-aromatics. The work does not only include the heart of the process, the chemical reaction, but also the separation process to realize process technology that can provide the biobased ingredients with the required product specifications.

On the one side the project focuses on the transformation of lignin into performance products such as phenol, fuel and -additives, and on the other hand on the conversion of sugars into furans that can serve as intermediates for (functionalized) bio-aromatics and other green building blocks.

Aromatics are among the most important resources for the chemical industry. Currently virtually all aromatic building blocks are made from fossil oil. Biorizon utilizes plant-based waste streams to develop functionalized biobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. This diminishes the dependence on fossil fuel, it lowers CO2-emissions and it provides the chemical industry a profitable and sustainable perspective.

Scaling up of bio-aromatics research

The SCeLiO-4B project focuses on three areas:

  1. Realization and further development of testing-grounds on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus and the Green Chemistry Campus that encompass all required infrastructure and equipment necessary for the facilitation of research, scaling up and development in the field of biobased building blocks.
  2. Organize education and training, business development, project management and communication.
  3. Jointly execute research and development activities to be able to realize valid systems and processes.

Three Green Chemistry Campus tenants involved

At the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom entrepreneurs, governments and knowledge institutions jointly develop biobased innovations on the cutting edge of agro and chemistry. Biobased aromatics form a major focal point. Three Campus tenants are involved in the SCeLiO-4B project:

  1. TNO, under the flag of Biorizon, conducts research in the field of bio-aromatics. Shared Research Center Biorizon, an initiative of TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus, wants to enable commercial production of bio-aromatics by 2025.
  2. Nettenergy has developed the PyroFlash technology and builds mobile pyrolysis installations that simultaneously produce biochar, bio-oil, wood char and wood gas. The company wants to further scale up the production of liquid products.
  3. Progression Industry develops performance bio-fuels and works on market introduction.

Interregional open innovation setting

By connecting the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom with the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen this project creates an interregional cooperation in which businesses and knowledge institutions will be connected via testing-grounds. This cooperation between these two Centers for Open Chemical Innovation is unique in The Netherlands and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity for further realize one's potential and move from laboratory to pilot plant scale.

European contribution

The SceLiO-4B project has a budget of € 11,3 million. The project can count on support of the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO), the national government and the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg, that have made available € 4,5 million via the Operational Program South-Netherlands (OP-Zuid).

Green Chemistry Campus

The Green Chemistry Campus, located on the premises of SABIC in Bergen op Zoom, is one of the five Centres for Open Chemical Innovation. Entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions, and the government work closely together in an open innovation environment to develop new biobased technologies and products with a focus on performance materials, chemicals and coatings. Take for example shared research center Biorizon: TNO and VITO jointly develop functional biobased aromatics derived from sugars and lignin. The Green Chemistry Campus is part of the Biobased Delta, in the Southwest-Netherlands: a triple-helix, public-private valorization platform in the field of biobased chemistry. Nowhere in the world is a region as suitable as the Biobased Delta for valorizing sugars into chemical building blocks for the chemical industry. Biomass is widely available, the logistic connections are excellent and the market is close by because the region is part of the largest chemical cluster of the world.
More information:


The Operational Program South-Netherlands (OP-Zuid) is a collective programme of subsidies of the provinces of Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland, together with the cities of Breda, Tilburg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Helmond, Venlo, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen and Maastricht. For the execution of the OP-Zuid programme, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has got € 186 million available. The main goal of OP-Zuid is to promote regional competitiveness, a sustainable economic growth and creation of jobs and employment in South-Netherlands.

Please also read the article published by the Dutch 'Financieele Dagblad'. 

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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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