A university spin out company has agreed a deal with one of the world’s largest speciality chemical companies to develop greener and safer surfactants for use in detergents and soaps.
Chemical and coatings giant Akzo Nobel is expected to make a seven-figure investment in developing and scaling up Green Lizard Technologies’ patented process to make surfactants from plants rather than from oil.
The joint development agreement with Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals will result in new R&D jobs at Green Lizard Technologies’ Wilton Centre base and will bring closer the prospect of a full-scale production plant at Wilton, which is expected to employ more than 30 people.
Green Lizard Technologies project leader Fergal Coleman said: “This is a massive stamp of approval in our technology from one of the world’s largest chemical companies.
“It will really speed up the market development and commercialisation of one aspect of our technology, with Akzo Nobel being in a strong position to take the majority of product from our proposed production plant.
“At present, nearly all surfactants used in soaps and detergents are ultimately derived from oil. Working with Akzo Nobel means that our dream of replacing these with cheaper greener biosurfactants has moved many steps closer.”
A university spin-out from Queen's University Belfast, Green Lizard Technologies acquired pilot plant, office and laboratory space at the Wilton Centre in February 2018 to test manufacture Epoxy Propanol (EP), also known as Glycidol, which in addition to surfactants can also be used to manufacture greener industrial paints and coatings and speciality chemicals.
Steve Duffield, site director at the Wilton Centre says: “This is another accolade for one of the many genuinely world-leading technology companies which are based at the Wilton Centre. A number of them are pushing back the frontiers of sustainable environmental technology to make the world greener and safer and reduce the use of oil in the chemical industry.
“We have all the infrastructure, facilities and supporting expertise in place to allow technology companies to focus on their processes, rather than dealing with a mountain of red tape before they can even get going.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement