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Joining forces to work towards cleaner, smarter, circular chemical products

22 April 2021

The Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC) will celebrate its fifth anniversary by embarking on a new phase. With UG Professor and Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa and Spinoza Prize winner Bert Weckhuysen at the helm, a growing number of universities, companies and government organizations intend to spend the next few years working together to find powerful solutions to reduce the ecological footprint of the chemical industry. Their aim is to supply society with cleaner, smarter, circular products by deploying excellent research, by training talented researchers and by developing and using unique measuring instruments.

Innovation with an impact

An anniversary symposium on 21 April entitled ‘Reinventing Chemistry Together’ saw various prominent speakers from industry, government and academia take to the stage. Using examples from their own research projects within the ARC CBBC, a number of talented researchers illustrated ways in which they intend to achieve their shared ambition of tackling climate change and addressing sustainability challenges. PhD students from various universities will work together with researchers from AkzoNobel, BASF, Nouryon and Shell in three ARC CBBC labs, conducting research into materials, coatings and energy carriers. State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Change Mona Keijzer heard their joint promise for a sustainable future.

Prof. Ben Feringa: ‘We now have over one hundred years of experience in chemistry. During this time, we have learned how to invent new products, such as new fuels, plastics and medicines. Our challenge today is to find ways of making the products and materials used in today’s society more energy efficient, and to use green electricity to produce them. All on the condition that we can recycle the materials and add smart functionalities if required. Just imagine if a window or your car could clean itself simply by providing it with a smart coating.’

Last modified:23 April 2021 1.34 p.m.
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