Sustainable Chemical Industry: reducing cost and time to market

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.

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.

Three routes

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.


ECN brings thermochemical aromatics production to Biorizon

01 December 2016
TNO, VITO and ECN signed an agreement to collaborate in the Shared Research Center Biorizon. Biorizon, an initiative of VITO, Green Chemistry Campus and TNO, works with partners to develop technologies... Read more

Start largest research program on 3D-printing in Europe

30 November 2016
Maastricht University (UM) and Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) decided to join forces to create one of the largest initiatives on biofabrication for regenerative medicine applications in Europe. In... Read more

Invitation to Biobased Chemistry Economic Trade Mission

30 November 2016
Thinking of doing business in Germany or expanding/nurturing existing business? Then join the economic mission led by Liliane Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation from 7 to 9... Read more

DIAMONDS predicts the harmfulness and effectiveness of chemical substances

28 November 2016
DIAMONDS is a tool that intelligently predicts the harmfulness and effectiveness of chemical substances. Companies seeking to develop new chemicals can use it to determine at an early stage whether their... Read more

New insights in furanic intermediates and aromatic derivatives from biomass

18 July 2016
TNO and Wageningen UR join forces in a new research project: Furanic Intermediates and Aromatic Derivatives from biomass or briefly FIAD. The project aims to create knowledge for the production of furans,... Read more

TNO Technology Clusters accelerate innovation at SMEs

07 July 2016
Innovation is vital for SMEs. TNO's Technology Clusters are an accessible way of acquiring new knowledge, which companies can harness almost immediately to create new product-market combinations. A range... Read more

Which area will be the biobased top region?

05 July 2016
Farms, agricultural companies, the chemical industry, energy suppliers, waste management companies, government, research organisations – we all have a part to play in the transition to a biobased economy.... Read more
24 - 28April

Visit TNO at the Hannover Messe 2017

Hannover | Hannover Exhibition Grounds
The previous edition of the Hannover Messe revealed that Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet are no longer just a future projection. Hundreds of ready-to-run solutions were presented. In 2017 thousands... Read more

Molecules meet Digits

Geleen | Brightlands Chemelot Campus
Deloitte, VNCI, ISPT, TNO and Brightlands Chemelot Campus proudly present: Molecules meet Digits, a new event where the chemical industry meets the digital world. From 12.00 untill 18.30 Molecules meet... Read more

Ir. Peter Wolfs

  • Chemistry
  • Chemicals
  • Formulation
  • Procestechnology
  • Personal & Home Care

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