TNO helps the chemical industry to innovate by enabling businesses to reduce costs and get new products to the market faster. Businesses looking for new products or production processes turn to TNO for advice, pilot designs and trials in TNO or third party laboratories. This enables TNO to continually contribute to successful innovations in this sector.
Download the whitepaper 'E-fuels: Towards a more sustainable future for truck transport, shipping and aviation''
Chemical companies wish to become less dependent on a single group of raw materials, such as fossil raw materials, for their products. The transition from fossil to renewable raw materials offers new opportunities and is helping to make the chemical industry more sustainable. Europe's bulk chemical industry is faced with heavy competition from regions where energy and raw material costs are low, such as the Middle East and the United States. In addition, emerging economies are a key growth market for bulk chemical products. In response to these trends, European chemical industries are developing into producers of specialised products that are locally produced near the sources of the raw materials, such as biomass and other sustainable energy resources.
Diversification and specialisation
TNO has developed a vision in answer to these developments and has translated this into three concrete propositions for accelerating innovation in the chemical industry. We anticipate that businesses will focus more and more on niche markets with high-grade materials and specialised products. TNO is helping chemical companies to apply alternative raw materials, produce more efficiently and get their products to the market faster. We focus particularly on suppliers of renewable raw materials, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals and polymers and consumer chemicals. TNO is not only supporting the industry with new technology, we also help design new value chains and business models.
- The first route to new opportunities for the chemical industry is the flexible use of raw materials. TNO and its partners jointly develop alternatives to fossil raw materials that are sustainable, economically feasible, safe, cost-effective and relatively easy to scale up. Examples are biomass constituents or the extraction of raw materials from CO2.
- The second route leads to smarter and more efficient production processes. We conceive and develop technologies, methods and business models to make existing processes more sustainable and economically feasible in order to enable more flexible production of smaller batches of more diverse products. This enables businesses to respond more quickly to changing market demands.
- For the third route, TNO is focusing on the qualitative improvement of the functionality of chemical products. This will enable chemical, pharmaceutical and personal and home care companies to respond more adequately to trends in the supply chain, such as the growing consumer demand for special and personalised products. Formulae and special materials are becoming more and more complex and this demands solutions for new functionality, whereby product safety plays an essential role.
Our products and services
We advise clients and provide various options that they can choose from, whereby technology, sustainability, safety and economic feasibility are seen as integral parts of a whole.
We provide engineering services to companies that are looking for new concepts for products or processes. Together with our partners, we design and build trials at the bench or pilot scale.
We share the technology we and others develop with our clients via contract research or licences. The intellectual property involved may belong to either TNO or the client.
Our clients profit from collaborations with knowledge institutes, businesses and government agencies via open innovation programmes, which means the development costs and risks are shared.
Curious about the possibilities to make the industry more sustainable together?
Biorizon as a new route to bioaromatics
The development and up-scaling of technologies to enable the commercial production of aromatic compounds from biowaste by 2025: this is what VITO and TNO are focusing on in the shared research centre...
Brightlands Materials Center for new sustainable materials
Glass that retains its heat when warm and allows heat to pass through when cold. Sustainable materials for the automotive industry that are twice as light as steel and a quarter lighter than aluminium....
Brightsite brings climate proof chemistry within reach
To become the centre for climate proof chemistry in the Netherlands, that is the ambition of the partnership with Brightsite knowledge center. Brightsite is working on issues such as replacing fossil...
Voltachem for electrification in the chemical industry
The efficient conversion of raw materials using sustainable energy: this is what the Shared Innovation Program VoltaChem (an initiative of industry, the government and TNO) is all about. In addition to...
Sustainable Chemical Industry - Information sheet
pdf • 3.1 MB
Shining a SPOTLIGHT on TNO’s Expertise
Germany and The Netherlands come up with a bilateral agenda on hydrogen and green electrons for industry
E-fuels crucial to sustainable heavy transport