Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands
CO2 is a serious problem. You can attempt to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, but you can also make sure that excess CO2 is captured intelligently. In recent times, we have been working on the latter in collaboration with the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands.
“The Energy Research Centre has developed a technology that, in conjunction with an adsorbent that we produce, can capture CO2 in gas flows. This technology is an excellent way of trapping concentrated CO2. The technology is interesting for the steel industry and many others, because it uses a lot of carbon. In short, they are essentially unable to escape it: it is necessary for the steel and for the energy requirements. With the development of special CO2-absorbing granules, we hope to equip steel plants with an installation that can capture CO2 in the future. This technology also has the potential to be used in other industries. The CO2 can then be disposed of in the ground, but it is also pure enough for the development of other chemicals, such as the fuel, methanol. Developing a technique like this is our philosophy “Don’t waste progress” in its most practical form!”
Our parent company in Japan has been supplying products for automotive coatings for a long time. We have been tasked with the challenge of doing this in the EU as well! A collaborative project with the research organization TNO regarding anti-corrosion in the concrete industry resulted in us testing for use in steel coatings as well.
“Together with TNO, we investigated the possibilities of producing and marketing a corrosion protection agent. During a doctoral study commissioned by TNO, a solution was devised for the protection of reinforced concrete. The steel reinforcement of concrete, e.g. in bridges and viaducts, is often affected by the chloride in road salt. Once corrosion occurs, repair is required. This is a very precise and expensive procedure. Not to mention that the repairs have a limited lifespan of approximately 10 years. The PhD candidate’s solution, based on hydrotalcite, is able to double the life of the repairs for a modest initial cost increase. Quite an interesting business case!
The promising results for reinforced concrete have given us food for thought. We are now trying to apply the same trick in other markets, such as steel coatings for machines and buildings. There was no mention in patent law of the use of this material in the steel industry, so TNO gave us the go-ahead. The first tests have already been conducted. Now we simply wait for the feedback: does it work or not? It is quite nerve racking, but if it turns out to be successful, it will be a spectacular European breakthrough.”
Cancer-related research is already in development, while research into innovative cancer medicines continues to flourish. A university hospital asked us to think about the development of a unique drug, which may cause less bodily harm than traditional cancer medications.
“Our R&D department is working together with specialists from the hospital, using our raw materials to create a potential new cancer drug. The ultimate goal is to create a targeted drug, that releases the substances in very specific location, thereby reducing damage to the body. This project will be funded by the government and is still in development. It is clear from the literature that hydrotalcite is already widely used in the medical world, so this could certainly lead to a real breakthrough.”