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Developing safer and greener coatings, surfactants and fuels

Posted on 13/02/2018

Green Lizard is to open a production development base at the Wilton Centre for its sustainable technology converting Glycerol into Epoxy Propanol.

A spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, Green Lizard Technologies, has chosen to locate its first test development site at the Wilton Centre, following a recommendation from the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).

Green Lizard Technologies and their licensed company Oleocycle Ltd have been working with CPI to scale up their technology which gives a second use to waste cooking oils by converting them into low sulfur biodiesel feedstocks, and other useful chemicals.

They are to invest £6 million in a pilot plant, office and laboratory at the Wilton Centre in order to test manufacture Epoxy Propanol (EP), also known as Glycidol, which can be used to create greener, cleaner and safer surfactants, industrial paints and coatings, and speciality chemicals. If this pilot activity proves successful, the intention is to invest  $25 million (approximately £17 million) in a full production plant.

Green Lizard, working in partnership with Malaysian company FGV and US-based Dixie Chemical, has gained several awards for its technologies. In 2017 they won the Sustainability Award in the IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Malaysia Award and they were highly commended in the Global IChemE Awards in the Oil and Gas section. Last month (January 2018) they won the Rushlight Sustainable Manufacturing & Services Award.

Professor Martin Atkins, Green Lizard CEO and chair of Chemical Innovation and Sustainability at Queen’s University Belfast, said:

“The Wilton Centre was recommended to us by the Knowledge Transfer Network and it is fantastic. In fact, there is no better place in the UK. The facilities are already here to run a test production plant 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with experienced workers.

“There is room for us to expand on site, and to a potential full production plant on the Wilton International site next door, and there are many like-minded people and companies based on-site or just down the road, with whom we are already working very closely to develop new, safer, greener coatings, surfactants and fuels.

“We are also in talks with a number of international companies, including a consortium from China, which are very interested in using our technology in their manufacturing processes. At present, we are just scratching the surface of the possibilities for our new technologies.”

Wilton’s site director Steve Duffield said:

“Green Lizard is the fourth university technology company which has chosen to base its production development work at the Wilton Centre, and the third from outside the North East of England.

“We have all the infrastructure, facilities and supporting expertise in place to allow them to focus on their task of scaling their production processes, rather than dealing with a mountain of red tape before they can even get going.”