The surprise of flash hydrogen

Hydrogen is at our disposal, so it seems, in many colours: black, grey, green, blue, turquoise, purple, aquamarine, pink, red, blue, yellow, orange, white, … [1, 2, 7]. Some colours are relatively new, like pink or purple for hydrogen from … Read more

Commercializing biobased products

Commercializing Biobased Products

‘Consumers will soon notice that the origin of everyday products is changing, with items such as clothing, shoes, water and soda bottles, and even automobile tyres being manufactured from plant-based rather than petroleum-based materials. This quiet revolution has been steadily … Read more

Photanol prepares itself for the market

Photanol, based in Amsterdam, has started tests in greenhouses at Bleiswijk (Nl), where cyanobacteria will produce fragrances and flavourings, and intermediates for the chemical industry, with no other feedstock than CO2 and sunlight. Dirk den Ouden, director at Photanol, gives … Read more

More guts needed for the bioeconomy

North-western Europe has the best feedstock in the world for biobased industries, says Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks’ CEO and largest PLA producer in the world. He could have added: also the largest sugar factories, the highest yields per hectare, outstanding research … Read more

The shelf life of green chemistry

Green chemistry is threatened both from without and within. In the heydays of classical organic chemistry, in a way many researchers overestimated their powers: they could synthesise anything, even from the drawing board, and better than nature. That overconfidence has … Read more

Towards a sustainable medicines production

A decade ago, in an authoritative scientific magazine, we published a prediction (1) on the synthesis of complicated molecules, primarily medicines. We foresaw the integration of chemo and bio catalysis in a reactor that would also be the catalyst. A … Read more

Green chemistry: it is about the oxygen

Willem Sederel

This site recently ran fine stories about more sugar, soon on the market in North-western Europe; industry will process that to bioethanol and further to bioethylene, with ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol in its trail. That is the basis for … Read more


The Italian blog Il Bioeconomista recently announced that the American biotech company Genomatica (San Diego) intends to develop enzymatic industrial pathways for the production of the chemical building blocks hexamethylenediamine, adipic acid and caprolactam. These compounds are drop-ins in the … Read more

Sugar, Europe’s strength

Sugar mill in Wanze, Belgium

Europe should develop a more practical vision on its future sustainable industry, says Dirk Carrez. ‘We do not have to stretch ourselves to be as sustainable and as cost-effective as possible from the outset. Let us take our time for … Read more

Opportunities for biobased butadiene

Spare tyre

Butadiene is an important petrochemical with a market size of more than $40 billion, and around 60% of butadiene goes into synthetic rubber production. The relatively recent exploitation of shale gas has resulted in butadiene scarcity, since natural gas chemical … Read more