Recently, a Brazilian delegation paid a visit to the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom to hear about the Biobased Delta, the Green Chemistry Campus and the developments around Shared Research Center Biorizon >> The Way to Aromatics. The delegation showed particular interest in Biorizon's open innovation approach with regard to the technology development of functionalized biobased aromatics.
The delegation from brazil included Mr. Gustavo Romeiro Ferreira from the National Confederation of Industry Brazil (NCI), Ms. Mariana Doria from the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (Abiquim), Ms. Isabella Scorzelli from FIRJAN (Federation of Industries of Rio de Janeiro), Mr. Egbert Hartsema from NFIA Brazil Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and Mr. Nelo Emerencia from the Dutch Association of Chemical Industry (VNCI).
The delegation from Brazil showed great interest in Biorizon >> The Way to Aromatics. This Shared Research Center focuses on the technology development of sustainable and profitable functionalized aromatics out of sugars and lignin. Biorizon is a cross-border initiative between TNO, VITO and the Green Chemistry Campus and is part of Biobased Delta.
Jan Harm Urbanus, Scientific Manager of Biorizon, explained that aromatic compounds are at the basis of our daily life. Among numerous applications, aromatics can be found in carpets, vitamins, tires, paints and flame-retardants. Currently Biorizon is talking to global industry leaders in the fields of feedstock, conversion, equipment and end products to invite them to join this Shared Research Center. During this industry consultation it became clear to Biorizon that the main focus of industry is not on premium value, but rather on security of supply.
Currently virtually all aromatic building blocks are made from fossil oil that will become scarce. Hence, it is important to develop technology to replace the current aromatic petrochemical based building blocks by alternative feedstocks. Shale gas and shale oil are rapidly emerging as a new feedstock, but will produce mainly light fractions such as ethylene/propylene, and no aromatics in gas-fueled crackers. Given the global challenges that society is facing with respect to CO2 emissions, pollution, global warming and shortage of suitable fossil oil reserves, new biobased production routes need to be realized urgently to address the ecological and economic challenges that humanity and industry are facing.