AkzoNobel has signed a framework joint development agreement with specialty chemicals company Itaconix to explore opportunities for the production of bio-based polymers.

With this agreement, AkzoNobel will pursue the development and commercialization of bio-based polymers. Itaconix will contribute a proprietary polymerization technology to turn itaconic acid – obtained from sugars through fermentation – into polymers.

“This innovation enables the production of polymers from renewable ingredients, which fits closely with our Planet Possible sustainability agenda of doing more with less,” explained Peter Nieuwenhuizen, RD&I Director for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business. “These bio-based polymers offer unique properties in applications essential to our everyday lives, ranging from water quality to cleaning and hygiene.”

Itaconix is a US subsidiary of Revolymer, which is also working with AkzoNobel on a marine coatings project. Kevin Matthews, CEO of Revolymer, said: “AkzoNobel has worldwide capabilities to utilize our itaconic acid polymers in many application areas. We believe this agreement is an important step for the further development of bio-based chemistry on a large scale.”

Nieuwenhuizen added that the deal is the latest example of AkzoNobel’s commitment to fostering innovation and approaching the topic in an open and collaborative way.