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UvA chemists sign agreement with synthetic rubber company LANXESS
10 July 2012
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA)
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has signed a research agreement with the German specialty chemicals company LANXESS, the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubbers, to develop new catalytic routes to different olefins, key building blocks for synthetic rubber polymers.
The project will be carried out by the Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry group (HCSC), led by Prof. Gadi Rothenberg of the UvA's Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS). Rothenberg specialises in catalyst discovery and optimisation for bulk chemicals and sustainable energy applications. The group is especially known for its expertise in combining experiments with predictive modeling for catalyst discovery and optimisation.
LANXESS will invest over a period of three years in this research project, with the aim of diversifying its sources for synthetic rubber raw materials.
Rothenberg is excited about this new research challenge: "Olefins are extremely important chemicals - they are the starting materials for making various synthetic rubber polymers. Because of this, the existing production routes have been optimized decades ago, but new times are calling for new sources for these chemicals.”
LANXESS is the fourth large company investing in the HCSC group since 2008, a strong recognition by the chemical industry of the group's achievements in combining experiments and predictive modeling for catalysis research.