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Avantium’s latest acquisition is “an important step... to create and commercialise breakthrough technologies.”

Posted on Jan 17, 2017 5:19:00 PM

Last week, AvantAvantium acquire Liquid Lightium, the chemical technology company creating renewable chemistry announced that they will be acquiring the assets of Liquid Light. Liquid Light is an American based company and a renowned developer of the electrochemical processes. Since entering the market they have developed proprietary process technology to make major chemicals from low-cost, globally-abundant carbon dioxide (CO2). The acquisition combines the technologies of both Liquid Light and Avantium to develop a world leading electro-catalysis platform and to commercialise new process technologies using CO2 as feedstock to produce sustainable chemicals and materials.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas that originates as waste from the burning of fossil fuels, the production of electricity, fertilizers, chemicals, steel and cement. It is the biggest contributor to global warming. The development of electrochemistry has the potential to use CO2 as a feedstock for the sustainable production of chemicals and materials, and is seen as a ’game-changer’ for the chemical industry. The result is that greenhouse gas is sequestered into products that can replace plastics and chemicals that are now produced from fossil feedstock.

Liquid Light, first began at Princeton University in 2008, where it invested more than $35 million on low-energy electrochemistry technologies to convert CO2 to major chemicals.  It has filed over 100 national patent applications of which more than twenty have been granted. Its patent portfolio includes filings on producing multiple chemical building blocks used in large existing markets, including oxalic acid, glycolic acid, ethylene glycol, propylene, isopropanol, methyl-methacrylate and acetic acid for the production of polymers, coatings and cosmetics.

Avantium siteThe technology and patent portfolio of Liquid Light will be integrated in Avantium’s ( @Avantium ) Renewable Chemistry business unit and its existing R&D program in electrochemistry. By combining Liquid Light’s expertise in electrochemistry with Avantium’s expertise in catalysis and process engineering will be the basis of an unrivalled technology platform to develop novel production technologies for converting CO2 to chemicals and materials. Final measures have been reached to integrate Liquid Light's assets into Avantium and this will come into effect immediately. However, financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Tom van Aken, ( @tomvanaken ) Chief Executive Officer of Avantium, said: “The acquisition of Liquid Light is an important step in our strategy to create and commercialize breakthrough technologies in renewable chemistry. It will extend our capabilities beyond catalytic conversion of biomass. This acquisition will enable the development of a powerful technology platform on the basis of CO2 feedstock, meaning it turns waste into valuable products such as chemicals and plastics.”

This is not the only business collaboration that Avantium have been involved with over the past couple of years. As key developers for efficient processes and sustainable products made from biobased materials, Avantium offer revolutionary renewable chemistry solutions. One of Avantium’s success stories is YXY technology, with which it created PEF: a completely new, high-quality plastic made from plant-based industrial sugars. Since October 2016 all YXY activities are located in Synvina, the joint venture of Avantium and BASF. Together they signed a letter of intent and entered into exclusive negotiations to establish a joint venture for the production and marketing of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) which is made from plant-based industrial sugars. It's a chemical building block for polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) which is used in food packaging film and plastic bottle.

Gert-Jan Gruter, Chief Technology Officer of Avantium said: “Electro-catalysis is an emerging technology in the chemical industry that is based on electrical energy and catalytic reactions to drive chemical reactions. The technology enables the use of renewable energy for example from wind farms or solar panels for the chemical industry resulting in a significantly improved carbon footprint. The extensive patent portfolio of Liquid Light brings Avantium in the top of the world’s Intellectual Property position in electrochemistry.”

For more collaborations taking place in the industry:

adidas and Ocean Parley team up to create trainers and football tops from upcycled marine plastic.

Industry consortium forms to focus on commercializing bio-based gasoline.

Henkel, BASF and Solidaridad ally to improve sustainable supply chains for palm oils.

IKEA and Newlight sign major partnership agreement.

Unilever swoop for bio-based products brand Seventh Generation. 

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in more