A look inside the Utrecht hub with scientific director Bert Weckhuysen


In the latest edition of the Verf&Inkt (Paint&Ink) Magazine, Bert Weckhuysen gives us a look into the lab of the Utrecht hub. That is where part of the research for the flagship project on coatings is carried out.

Sneak preview of the interview

ARC CBBC aims to contribute to a more sustainable future through the development of paints, inks, lacquers and similar coatings that can be produced on the basis of renewable bio-based building blocks. In the future circular economy, even waste materials such as shrimp shells can become the raw material for paint and ink. Although a distant view, it is one of the challenges the large Dutch research consortium ARC CBBC has been investigating with fundamental research in the past three years.

Bert Weckhuysen tells us more about the flagship project around coatings: “We very enthusiastically started this project here in Utrecht by buying shrimp shells at a local fish shop. However, after only a few days the smell in the lab became unbearable so we currently use chitosan instead. This approach is maybe somewhat naïve, but it does prove our mission: we really want to work on the basis and develop fundamental, new technologies.”

Currently, eight Ph.D.’s and postdoctoral researchers work on this project, all having their own expertise and under the supervision of an academic expert and someone from the industry. As Weckhuysen states: “People from different backgrounds are deliberately being put together and are challenged to come with groundbreaking ideas. That results in exciting and new technologies.” He closes the interview by emphasizing the importance of our young scientists: “They are the ones that are working hard on a world for their children in which the carbon dioxide problem is solved”.

More about the Verf&Inkt Magazine

Verf&Inkt contains background information on relevant themes and presents associated businesses. It also features professions within the sector and projects realized by member companies. This magazine is published by The Dutch Association for Paint and Ink Producers (VVVF). The VVVF aspires to create a level playing field for the paint and printing ink industry and supports its members on compliance, good employer practice, innovation, and sustainability.

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Source: website ARC-CBBC