hte – the high throughput experimentation company – and Arkema, France’s leading chemicals producer, today announced the successful conclusion of a research collaboration in the field of glycerol conversion to acrolein and acrylic acid.
The objective of this collaborative project consisted of providing performance screening for a variety of new suitable catalysts for conversion reactions of glycerol, a biodiesel by-product derived from biomass, to acrolein and acrylic acid. Arkema, which has already registered a number of patents in this field, opted for the services of hte’s state-of-the-art laboratories in Heidelberg (Germany) which use a proprietary parallel testing technology to accelerate this process of exploration and evaluation, thus moving interesting catalysts more quickly from experimentation towards potential commercialisation.
The nature of the project demanded capabilities for rapid, parallel catalyst testing with high levels of data accuracy and reproducibility. hte is an experienced provider of robust Stage II testing technology and methodology, developed and validated in projects which have been successfully delivered to third-party clients over the years. This is coupled with a highly experienced technical team with a deep knowledge and expertise in catalyst testing, product analysis and data evaluation for applications similar to the target application.
This research collaboration, which began last year, was the first high throughput experimentation programme of this kind to be undertaken by Arkema. The production of acrolein and acrylic acid from biomass processing falls in line with Arkema’s strategy to develop sustainable chemicals based on more efficient processes and the use of renewable raw materials. “The greatest advantage of using hte’s technology has been the vast amount of time saved during this project. By using this approach we have been able to produce results in a matter of months. This would normally have taken over two years using conventional testing equipment,“ says Jean-Luc Dubois, Scientific Director at Arkema. High throughput catalyst testing has put Arkema in a position of increased competitiveness and has significantly reduced its R&D costs.
“We were very excited about entering into a research project with Arkema, a Global leader in production of industrial chemicals. We are confident that this joint programme has offered Arkema a more productive way of conducting its research, with reduced development costs and time-to-market as a consequence. We are delighted that Arkema has chosen to collaborate with hte; we see this as a further endorsement of our technology and services. This research programme has also allowed hte to broaden its portfolio of chemistry, technology and expertise offerings,“ says Dirk Demuth, CEO at hte.
With world-scale industrial facilities in Carling (France) and Bayport (United States), Arkema is a major player in the acrylics market and its main applications, namely paints and coatings, superabsorbents, water treatment, and the paper and textile industries. A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema consists of three strategically related businesses: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. Arkema reports sales of 5.7 billion euros. Arkema has 15,200 employees in over 40 countries and six research centers located in France, the United States and Japan. With internationally recognized brands, Arkema holds leadership positions in its principal markets.
hte – the high throughput experimentation company – is a leading provider of technology solutions and services to clients in the energy, chemical and environmental sectors. These solutions enable significant enhancement in productivity for R&D in catalysis, materials science and formulations. hte brings the benefit of its extensive expertise in deploying methods for high-throughput experimentation to its clients via two complimentary offerings: (i) Technology Solutions – implementation of tailored, integrated hardware and software solutions at the client's site; (ii) R&D Solutions – collaborative research programs based at hte's state-of-the-art facilities in Heidelberg.
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