CO2 convert to circular chemicals

Photanol's mission is to transform the chemical industry by replacing fossil sources with CO2. Photanol does that with cyanobacteria - single-celled organisms that use (sun) light and CO2 use to grow and produce organic chemicals. These circular chemicals are the building blocks we need to create products such as biodegradable plastics, health and beauty products and even sustainable fuel.

Circular chemical industry
This technology replaces the energy-intensive processes and fossil raw materials currently used for such chemicals. Photanol's method thus paves the way for a circular chemical industry. Photanol, named a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum, is currently in the scale-up phase. It has a pilot plant in Prodock (Amsterdam) and an industrial pilot plant in Delfzijl, which is about 100 times larger. At the industrial pilot plant in Delfzijl, Photanol is optimising the balance between investment and return for commercial efficiency.

Photanol's technology is based on an invention by two former professors at the University of Amsterdam, Joost Teixeira de Mattos and Klaas Hellingwerf. They combined their knowledge of fermentation and cyanobacteria to develop the idea of cell factories. Photanol is now about 35-40 people, by far the majority still on the technology side and consisting of 12 different nationalities.

Strategic partnerships
In addition, collaboration between institutions, startups and companies has driven Photanol's growth. By entering into strategic partnerships with Corbion and Nouryon, Photanol was able to prove natural production of organic acids and make progress in scaling up these processes at its Delfzijl plant. In addition, Photanol is working with plastic film producer Renolit to develop ethylene and propylene.

Cooperation with knowledge institutes such as the UvA Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences and Matthias Heineman of the University of Groningen also contribute to Photanol's success through knowledge exchange and joint research.

Photanol is also participating in the FutureCarbonNL initiative as the ambitions of this programme are closely aligned with corporate strategy. We expect our position in the value chain of CO2 as feedstock to chemicals and derived products and materials to be strengthened through collaborations with relevant partners in this consortium.

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