TNO is now officially linked to the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom located on the premises of plastics producer SABIC in Bergen op Zoom where companies research the manufacture of plastics and other residual agricultural products in the search for an alternative to increasingly scarce, and thus increasingly expensive, oil.
The southwest Netherlands is a national forerunner in terms of green chemistry, or the discovery of new products on the basis of biological material. This is traditionally an industry-rich region in the processing of agricultural products by companies like Cosun, Cargill, Yara and Lamb Weston Meijer as well as chemical companies like DOW, Nuplex and SABIC, which are able to use biobased intermediates in their plastics and coatings.
The first projects are already under way: recycling solvents, production of specific building blocks and the application of natural fibres. Initially, TNO will have three people on campus with a view to expanding to some 40 employees there, depending how fast the Campus grows. TNO is expected to be joined by other research organisations on the Campus to boost the innovation needed to facilitate the transition to a biobased economy.
TNO works with companies in the agro-chemical sector to bring about a sustainable society. TNO does this in a broad context both within and outside the Netherlands. But now there is a special focus on the southwest delta as one of Europe's most important areas in which 'agro meets chemistry'.