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.


Driving on CO2

12 July 2017
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is best known for its contribution to global warming. Less known is that it can also function as a resource for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. Read more

Call for participation BIO-HArT: test bio-aromatics

11 July 2017
Does your company have an interest in biobased aromatics? The BIO-HArT-project is looking for companies that would like to receive samples to test in their own applications. Read more

First Partner Event Brightlands Materials Center

11 July 2017
Meeting new people, talking about new business opportunities, inspire each other and having a great time sharing interesting thoughts and ideas. That’s in a nutshell what the Partner Event of Brightlands... Read more

Biorizon covered by TV show Booming Brabant

10 July 2017
Biorizon investigates whether biomass such as cattle and pig manure can be used as a raw material for plastic. Read more

Driving on CO2: VoltaChem scales up sustainable production of formic acid

09 May 2017
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is best known for its contribution to global warming. Less known is that it can also function as a resource for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. For the next two years... Read more

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
6 - 9September

9th International Conference on Environmental Engineering & Management

Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy
Biorizon will be present at the International Conference on Environmental Engineering & management (ICEEM) in Italy. The 9th edition of ICEEM focusses on the themes of Circular Economy and Environmental... Read more
13 - 15September

Innovation Mission on Industrial Electrification and Power-2-X

Germany, NorthRhine-Westphalia
A three-day innovation mission will be organised which fits in the trilateral strategy to strengthen the chemical industry in the Netherlands, Flanders and North Rhine-Westphalia. The aim is to bring people... Read more
9 - 11October

10th European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Bioeconomy (EFIB)

The Square – Brussels Meeting Centre | Brussels, Belgium
Biorizon will be present at the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Bioeconomy (EFIB) in Brussels. Read more

VoltaChem Annual Event 2017

Location still to be decided
On 9 November 2017 Shared Innovation Program VoltaChem will organise its annual event in the field of the electrification of the chemical industry. Read more

Biorizon Annual Event 2017

Antwerp, Belgium
30 November 2017 Shared Research Center Biorizon will organise its annual event. Read more

Ir. Peter Wolfs

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

Do not miss new innovations by TNO

We use anonymous cookies to enhance the use of our site.