Royal DSM N.V. and Novomer Inc. have announced an agreement to jointly develop a revolutionary coating resin using carbon dioxide (CO2) as a raw material.

Royal DSM N.V., a global life and material sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, and Novomer Inc., Waltham, MA, have announced an agreement to jointly develop a revolutionary coating resin using carbon dioxide (CO2) as a raw material.

This development agreement follows a cooperation agreement and an investment by DSM Venturing in Novomer in 2007. The joint development project will benefit from the broad variety of DSM’s technologies and market access, in combination with the unique, efficient CO2polymerization technology of Novomer.

The chemistry and process technology for producing polymers from CO2and propylene oxide (PO) will be developed by Novomer, while DSM will convert the polymers into resins and formulate them for target applications such as coatings, adhesives, and graphic arts. Initial results are encouraging and suggest that this project might lead to completely new and improved application properties in coatings.

Given the fact that up to 50% by weight of CO2is used as raw material, the production of these resins will result in an improved carbon footprint. The process is also expected to be highly efficient, enabling the replacement of conventional resins in a number of coating applications.

Polycarbonate resins are widely known because of their superior performance and resistances and theoretically could find use in many types of coatings. Commercial use of conventional types has, however, always been limited due to their cost position and some weaknesses that are inherent in these products. The new CO2-based aliphatic polycarbonates to be developed by DSM and Novomer could potentially resolve these weaknesses.

“DSM and Novomer are looking to develop the first polymer in more than a decade to enter the mainstream of the coating industry,” said Rob van Leen, chief innovation officer of DSM. “This exciting development can lead to a breakthrough that could change the coating industry. Besides cost issues, these innovative coating resins also address environmental and performance issues. They therefore fit in perfectly within DSM’s People, Planet and Profit approach.”

Peter Shepard, vice president of business development of Novomer, adds: “We are very enthusiastic about our relationship with DSM, as they bring a wealth of skills and industry knowledge to help drive the commercialization of our technology in the coatings industry. In addition, this product development relationship with DSM leverages our ongoing technical development work that has been supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.”

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