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Greener AkzoNobel Coatings Ahead

Thursday, June 27, 2013

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The world’s largest paint and coatings producer will step up the use of bio-based materials in its products, under a new agreement with a sustainable chemical producer.

AkzoNobel and Belgian-based Solvay have signed a three-year agreement to increase the use of renewable raw materials in AkzoNobel's paints and coatings.

Expanding on the companies' current partnership, AkzoNobel will progressively increase the use of Solvay's bio-based epichlorohydrin, or Epicerol, which is already used in many of the company's coatings resins.

Photos: Solvay

AkzoNobel will increase the use of Solvay's Epicerol in paints and coatings. Epicerol is produced using glycerine, rather than propylene, as a raw material.

"The agreement underlines the commitment of both parties to play a key role in sustainable development and expand the use of renewable raw materials," the companies said in an announcement this month.

'Bio-Based Strategy'

Epicerol is Solvay's patented process for producing epichlorohydrin with glycerine as a raw material, rather than propylene, an oil derivative. Epichlorohydrin, a chemical intermediate, is a key raw material used in the manufacturing of epoxy resins for paints, coatings, composites, adhesives and other applications.

Epicerol has a substantially lower carbon footprint compared with most fossil-produced epichlorohydrin. By 2016, AkzoNobel aims to source 20 percent of its total epichlorohydrin demand as bio-based material.


Both the supply-chain agreement and the increased use of bio-based raw materials support AkzoNobel's longterm sustainability strategy. Epicerol will be used in a variety of AkzoNobel coatings, the company said.

Solvay, founded in 1863, is an international industrial group active in chemistry, with three sectors of activity: chemicals, plastics and Rhodia.

"We are very happy to extend our partnership with Solvay and take yet another step with our bio-based strategy," said Dick Bartelse, AkzoNobel business unit director of purchasing.

"We are serious about encouraging our suppliers to invest in bio-based solutions and enabling our customers to have cutting-edge, sustainable products."

Supply Partnership

The companies also noted that the agreement includes an unusual partnership model between two chemical groups on one hand, and their suppliers and customers on the other.

The new supply agreement builds on one for renewable solvents that the companies announced three months ago. The new project will "take more than three years of collaborative work in the value chain, starting immediately," the companies said.


Solvay produces Epicerol, a drop-in substitute for traditional oil-based epichlorohydrin, at its facility in Tavaux, France.

The companies said they would "work closely with their respective suppliers and customers to facilitate the use of Epicerol to produce AkzoNobel's resins, and ensure this is done in a verifiable manner and according to the highest current sustainability standards."

Jean-Luc Préat, head of Solvay's Epicerol, said the agreement "illustrates the necessity of a lifecycle approach to sustainability, where all levels of the supply chain team up."

"This is the best way to minimize our global footprint and meet the environmental challenges our industry has to cope with. We are proud to be among the pioneers in this field together with AkzoNobel."


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Coating Business; Coating chemistry; Green coatings; Renewable raw materials

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