Scale up Photanol BV to build demonstration plant at AkzoNobel site in Delfzijl


Press release

Scale up Photanol BV to build demonstration plant at AkzoNobel site in Delfzijl

Photanol BV, Amsterdam, has closed a substantial new financing round to demonstrate its industrial capabilities to produce chemicals from CO2 and sunlight. The commitment of new shareholders GROEIfonds, Innovatiefonds Noord Nederland and Investeringsfonds Groningen, as well as the continued support of the Dutch Government and existing shareholders UvA Ventures Holding and Icos Capital allow for the construction of Photanol’s first demonstration plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The plant is to be operational in 2020 at the site of its partner AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.


Photanol uses modified cyanobacteria to produce chemicals from photosynthesis. The demo plant is an essential step towards scaling up production of organic acids which can be used in biodegradable plastics, personal care products and as intermediates for the chemical industry.

Véronique de Bruijn CEO Photanol BV said: “The Photanol team is keen to prove to the world that we can make a big difference by producing clean chemicals while reducing the CO2 burden on the environment.”

Peter van Gelderen, partner and CIO at cleantech investor Icos Capital added: ‘We are very excited about Photanol’s move forward helping to address climate issues with a strong business case.”

New shareholders
The new shareholders GROEIfonds, Innovatiefonds Noord Nederland and Investeringsfonds Groningen, are keen to drive the next step towards commercialisation with the construction of the demonstration plant in Delfzijl. Sytze Hellinga, Investment Manager at GROEIfonds: “This demonstrates that there is  good synergy for cleantech innovations within the Groningen ecosystem and an important role for Photanol to drive the regional development and implementation of clean chemistry innovations”.

Sustainable chemical industry
The new investment and the continued support of existing shareholders alongside strategic partners are a testament to the potential of Photanol’s CO2 to chemicals technology, de Bruijn said.

Marco Waas, Director RD&I and Technology at Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals added: “The joint development of Photanol’s production capability is part of our strategic choice to collaborate with innovative companies to develop a sustainable chemical industry.”

Peter Krijnsen, CEO UvA Ventures Holding: “We are very proud that the University of Amsterdam spinoff Photanol has achieved this significant milestone, further advancing its technology development with powerful partnerships to fulfil its potential for a global impact.”

About Photanol BV

Photanol B.V. was established in 2008 by UvA Ventures Holding BV and the UvA’s Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), with an additional investment by Icos Capital in 2012 and is headquartered at Science Park Amsterdam. The company focuses on the development of valuable and clean chemicals that are produced efficiently and sustainably using modified cyanobacteria, which take sunlight and CO2 as raw materials. The goal is to provide biofuel and biochemical compounds that fit the 21st-century environmental constraints by being sustainable and energy efficient.