Sustainable method to enable easy processing of high viscous polymers

Innovation project

European Funding: 134 886,72 euro

Today high viscous polymers, that are difficult to process, are often used through the
addition of hazardous solvents. Emulco Laboratories has developed a formulation and
method to enable liquefying those polymers without adding harmful chemicals. Crossroads2
hereby offers financial support for further upscaling.

Emulco Laboratories, based in Ghent Belgium, is specialist in the development and
manufacturing of high end emulsions. An emulsion can be defined as a complicated blend of
two liquid substances that by nature cannot blended. In its lab, Emulco has succeeded to
emulsify a very high viscous polymer in water, a revolutionary breakthrough, as the polymer
exist since the early 1930’s and has never been emulsified on a water basis. This is excellent
news for the coating, car, construction and cosmetics industry, in which the polymer is often
used. Today, processing of the polymer is only possible by using heavy and high energy
consuming equipment and/or through the use of hazardous solvents.

Method applicable for various polymers!

Emulco has succeeded to emulsify the polymer through the addition of water and non-
hazardous detergents, which can be defined as breakthrough technology, as the process is
not only more sustainable, it also uses far less energy. This is the direction that the chemical
industry should and is destined to take. The use of solvents that are harmful to the
environment and public health need to be avoided as much as possible. This development
opens lots of opportunities for other high viscous polymers. Through the use of the same
innovative technology the market potential and process ability of these polymers will
definately be enhanced.

Dutch partner!

With the support of CrossRoads2, Emulco together with Dutch Company Feyter Industrial
Services, will invest time and money in the last step to commercialization. On a lab scale, the
success of this technique has been proven, and it is now time for scale-up for which
investment is required. Emulco will soon be able to deliver higher volume batches that will
serve field industrial trials. Through the intermediation of CrossRoads2, Emulco has
partnered with Feyter Industrial Services, which will be a solution provider for some of the
problems that Emulco foresees to encounter during scale-up. Because the polymer has a
very high degree of tackiness, there is a substantial risk that a small amount of polymer
becomes waste during the emulsification process. To avoid that, Feyter Industrial Services
will develop a state of the art inline filter that is capable of significantly reducing waste. Both
companies are partnering to enable the technique to be available on the market for
industrial manufacturing in the very near future.

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