25-Nov-2016 Düsseldorf / Germany
From Trash to Building-Block Treasure
Henkel is a consortium partner of the GreenSolRes project, an initiative that is converting biological waste into substances that can be used in the production of adhesives and consumer goods. This offers a sustainable alternative to petroleum products.
Pathways for manufacturing bio-based fuels and chemicals already exist, however, most of them rely on sugar and starch crops. The GreenSolRes project aims to establish sustainable and competitive industrial production of levulinic acid (LVA), a versatile chemical which can be converted into relevant building blocks for Henkel’s products. The LVA is produced from lignocellulosic wastes and fuels from the forestry and agricultural sector, meaning that it does not stand in competition to the food supply like some existing bio-based building blocks. A further benefit: Those bio-based building blocks have a greenhouse gas avoidance of 70 percent compared to their fossil-based counterparts.
“Henkel is proud to be part of this exciting project. It greatly matches our own research strategy with the aim to develop new bio-based technologies with advanced performance profiles,” explains Horst Beck, Head of Bio-renewables for Global Adhesive Research (AR). “In close collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Catalysts (LIKAT), who have specific know-how on the catalysis of chemical building blocks, Henkel aims to achieve the conversion of bio-based intermediates into new, high performing and sustainable adhesives.”
The project began in September 2016 and will run for four years. In that time, GreenSolRes aims to demonstrate the competitiveness of the LVA value chain in terms of costs, environmental impact and technical performance. The final project target is to have all process components optimized and ready to be scaled, making possible commercial exploitation after successful completion of the project.