Econic Technologies continues global development of CO2-containing polyols market with new India partnership

The agreement with Manali Petrochemicals Limited will see the Indian market leader retrofit an existing production facility to commercialise Econic’s carbon-to-value technology.


London, 19 July 2022 – Econic Technologies, the UK’s deep-tech carbon-to-value pioneer, has today announced the finalisation of a Joint Development and Technology Transfer Agreement with Manali Petrochemicals Limited (MPL), the market leader and only integrated polyol producer in India.

The signing of the legal agreement sets the next stage of the Econic-MPL partnership to scale up and manufacture CO2 containing polyols initially in Manali’s demo scale facilities, followed by retrofit of Manali’s 12,000+ industrial scale reactors with Econic’s proprietary process. Both companies are aligned to drive the commercialisation of CO2 containing polyols for use in essential polyurethane products to meet consumer demand.

The agreement consolidates the Memorandum of Understanding the two organisations entered into last year and represents a significant step in the global scale-up of Econic Technologies and its catalyst and process technology. It also reflects the Indian market-leader’s vote of confidence in Econic in the company’s ground-breaking technology. The future reaching long-term partnership is of strategic importance for both companies and presents important opportunities to respond to customer demand for sustainable options of CO2 containing products.

Ashwin Mutiah | Chairman, AM International, Keith Wiggins | CEO, Econic Technologies, Ravi Muthukrishnan | Managing Director, MPL, Hugo Chardon | Head of Strategy, AM Investcorp

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, said of the new agreement:“We appreciate this next development in our partnership with MPL and the opportunity to work with them as a pioneering licensee of Econic’s technology in one of the biggest and fastest growing geographies. There is undeniable momentum for solutions that meet consumer demand for more sustainable products made using waste CO2, and we’re delighted to be leading the way together in this area.”

Ashwin Mutiah, Chair of AM International, Manali’s parent company said: “Science and innovation will play a key role in ensuring that our manufacturing plants implement eco-friendly and cost-efficient technology. MPL’s partnership with Econic Technologies brings significant R&D-led improvements to the production process. Alongside delivering a greener product to our customers, it reaffirms our ESG commitment towards a carbon neutral planet.”


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

ECONIC AND CHANGHUA ANNOUNCE LICENSING AGREEMENT TO DEVELOP AND GROW CO2-BASED POLYURETHANES IN CHINA

Econic Technologies is scaling its pioneering deep-tech carbon-to-value technology with partnership in the industry’s most important market.


9th June 2022 – Econic Technologies, the deep-tech carbon-to-value pioneer, has today announced a ground-breaking partnership with leading independent Chinese polyol and polyurethanes company Changhua Chemical Technology Company Ltd, part of Jiangsu Changshun Group. The partnership was marked in a ceremonial signing on 8th June attended by the Mayor of Jiangsu province, where Changhua is based.

This multi-year partnership is born from both companies’ shared values – namely, the creation of a market for CO2 products, in line with the global drive to achieve net zero and to meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainable products. By replacing oil raw materials with waste CO2 in essential polyurethane products, both companies will sustainably grow the market. The collaboration is an important step in the emerging carbon-to-value sector.   

The agreement involves both parties collaborating to develop CO2-based polyurethane products to be manufactured in China and sold under license in China and worldwide. It will involve Changhua building the first dedicated production plants for these products to serve the growing demand for sustainable products. Both companies are aligned to make a serious contribution to carbon reduction and to drive the sustainable advancement of the polyurethane market.

Dr Gu, Chairman of Changhua Chemical Technology, commented: “In line with my company’s mission to grow and be recognized as the most innovative and sustainable polyurethane producer in the world, we identified Econic’s technology as being best-in-class for incorporating CO2 into polyurethanes. This long-term agreement demonstrates Changhua’s leadership and ambition in the sector.”

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: “We are honoured to be partnered with Changhua, China’s leading innovator of polyurethanes. Working with Changhua to this point has reinforced our shared values, and we are excited to build with them a sustainable future that creates value from CO2 to make essential polyurethane products better.”

The partnership with Changhua follows Econic’s recent announcement of the first round of a multimillion-pound capital raise, and receipt of a UK Government funding award.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

Econic Technologies raises funds for commercialisation with incoming investor Capricorn, and OGCI Climate Investments

Carbon-to-Value company Econic Technologies has successfully closed the first round of its latest fund raise to support commercialisation of their CO2 utilisation technology.


27 April 2022 – Econic Technologies, deep-tech carbon-to-value pioneer, today announced that it has closed the first round of a multimillion capital raise. The investment will accelerate the company’s route to commercialisation as it responds to increasing customer demand for sustainable ways of using carbon dioxide (CO2) to replace oil derived components in household and industrial products.

The round was led by incoming investor, Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, with follow-on support from existing investor OGCI Climate Investments. They are backing the scale up of Econic’s catalyst and process technology that transforms waste CO2 into a valuable raw material for use in essential every-day products, reducing their carbon footprints by up to 30%.

The company will first incorporate CO2 into polyols – used in polyurethane products for mattresses, insulation, textiles, light-weighting vehicles, amongst many other applications including coatings and adhesives. In addition, Econic is developing CO2 based surfactant ingredients for use in cleaning, home and personal care, and industrial products. These applications currently use millions of tonnes of oil-based raw materials every year. Econic’s technology uses CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere or stored for generations to replace up to 50% of the oil-based component.

Both Capricorn Partners and OGCI have leading, dedicated funds that align very closely with Econic’s ambitions to help drive the world to net zero.

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Capricorn Partners, one of the leading investors in sustainable chemistry-based solutions. Their expertise, in collaboration with ongoing support from OGCI, will allow Econic to respond to growing customer demand for our technology and to create value from using captured CO2 in everyday products.’

Yvette Go, Investment Director at Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, commented: ‘Econic offer a fantastic and innovative chemical technology for the sustainable manufacture of polymers with reduced environmental impact. We’re so pleased to be coming on board to work with the team as they bring their product to market’.

Matthew Harwood, CSO at OGCI Climate Investments, commented: ‘We are very excited about the commercial interest we are seeing globally in Econic as consumer-facing companies seek to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. We’re looking forward to continuing to support them during this pivotal point in their commercial progress.’


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

LCA finds Econic’s catalyst saves equivalent in emissions reduction to planting 189 million trees

Econic Technologies has today published the findings of an independent lifecycle assessment (LCA) of its technology by PRé Sustainability. This work has certified that the use of its catalyst technology reduces CO2 emissions by 30% compared with the traditional manufacture of polyols, which are used in the production of polyurethane, a ubiquitous and essential material. 

The world consumes 11 million tonnes of polyol in polyurethane products per year, a multi-functional material used in a host of diverse everyday applications. Econic Technologies’ catalyst technology turns CO2 into useful carbon, allowing producers to incorporate it into their products, replacing oil-based feedstocks. The assessment is an important validation of Econic’s innovative technology, supporting the commercialisation of its catalyst as its customers drive to achieve net zero.

The lifecycle assessment found that for every tonne of CO2 used as a raw material, at least three tonnes of emissions are avoided, primarily due to a significant reduction in the requirement for energy-intensive traditional raw materials. The impact of the technology when adopted across the key polyurethane sector is a reduction of CO2 equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the road or planting 189 million trees per year.

 As well as offering clear environmental benefits, Econic’s catalyst technology also enhances the performance of end products. For example, insulation products become even more carbon negative over their lifetime, whilst also keeping homes warmer and food cooler as well as offering improved flame resistance. Flexible foams, used in products like mattresses and cushions, typically last longer, whilst coatings and elastomers also become more durable, thereby increasing the lifespan of buildings, textiles and essential equipment.  

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, said: “With COP26 approaching, it is appropriate to showcase how to create sustainable value from captured carbon emissions. This independent lifecycle assessment demonstrates that Econic’s carbon-to-value technology will grow in importance, contributing strongly to the decarbonisation agenda.

As consumers drive demand for more sustainable products, with regulatory reform and greater social responsibility, greater numbers of manufacturers are decarbonising their supply chains. Econic Technologies offers these businesses an innovative solution. Manufacturers are able to bring their customers more sustainable, higher-performing and more cost-effective products today using CO2.

Professor Nilay Shah, Head of the Chemical Engineering department at Imperial College London, who reviewed the LCA before publication as an independent expert in low carbon process technologies, said: “As the CCUS sector grows in economic and political importance, systematic and independent LCAs will be vital in underpinning confidence in the sector.

Econic is one of the early pioneers in the sector and so the positive LCA is not just an endorsement of its catalyst, but in the validity of the CCUS as an industry.


About Econic’s Lifecycle Assessment

Econic commissioned PRé Sustainability, to run an independent lifecycle assessment (LCA) of its innovative polyol production process, which replaces up to 35 wt% of traditional and expensive oil-based raw materials with captured CO2. The environmental impacts of Econic’s polyol production process were compared to those of traditional polyols in a cradle-to-gate assessment, and considered raw material production, raw material transportation, and polyol manufacture. The study was critically reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure compliance to ISO standards 14040 and 14044.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

Econic Technologies appoints a new CEO as it enters its next phase

Catalyst technology company, Econic Technologies, has appointed Keith Wiggins as its new CEO to lead the next stage scale up and commercialisation of the business.


The leader in CO2 utilisation technology, Econic Technologies, has today announced the appointment of Keith Wiggins as its new CEO. Wiggins will take over from Dr Rowena Sellens who will retire after eight years of leadership, having taken the company to its market-leading position from a spin-out start up. The firm is now ready to scale the commercialisation of its unique catalyst technology amongst customers looking to achieve net zero carbon and core sustainability objectives.

The key next stages in this process are to progress key partnerships alongside a forthcoming fund raise on the back of recently secured investment from existing shareholders and the UK government’s Future Fund.

Wiggins brings broad experience of successfully running advanced manufacturing businesses and commercialising technologies across global markets. His international career spans senior leadership positions with leading multinationals and early stage companies.

Keith Wiggins, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented: ‘It is an honour to be joining Econic Technologies at a time when the business is poised to scale and commercialize. Rowena and the team have developed a world class technology that brings environmental, cost and performance benefits to customers, at a time when the world is demanding sustainable solutions for CO2. I look forward to being part of the growth story ahead.’

Wiggins replaces the retiring Dr Rowena Sellens, who was appointed in 2014 and oversaw Econic Technologies’ initial funding rounds; the launch of a UK-first customer demonstration facility; and the conclusion of the firm’s first joint development agreements, including a partnership with Drax. Dr Sellens will use her retirement to explore a number of non-executive roles.

Dr Rowena Sellens, former CEO, commented: ‘Overseeing the growth of Econic Technologies has been a real labour of love. Thanks to the incredible hard work of a team that I was so proud to lead, the business has gone from strength to strength. I am very happy to be passing the reins to Keith, who brings fresh perspectives and deep experience that will help the catalyst complete the final stages of commercialisation. I wish him well, and look forward to watching the firm’s continued growth.’


For more information contact:

Mr Leigh S Taylor, Head of Sales & Licensing
+44 (0)1625 238 645 | l.taylor@econic-technologies.com


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Author, Econic

CO2nversations – Noushin Zaynalzadeh

The transfer of Econic’s technology, from laboratory, to pilot plant and then to a large-scale industrial production plant, is a process fundamental to the commercialisation of Econic’s world leading sustainable catalyst technologies.  Noushin Zaynalzadeh, one of our Process Engineers, is key in leading and managing the steps required to take our process off the drawing board and from the bench, and into reality.

Ensuring that the fundamentals of our process are captured in such a way that end users or engineering partners can translate them into pipework and steel is a key responsibility for Noushin.  The process must not only be captured accurately and efficiently, but most importantly safely.

“Working across many functions and teams within Econic, from research, process development and on to our Customer Demonstration Facility involves understanding a huge array of scientific and engineering concepts, which can certainly be challenging, but is also very rewarding. Add into that mix liaising with our external engineering partners to bring all of these pieces of information together into a cohesive framework – it certainly keeps me on my toes!”

As we move closer to the commercialisation of our catalyst technologies, Noushin’s contribution to such developments form a cornerstone of our ability to deliver the Econic technology to the market, helping our customers to realise the full potential of incorporating waste CO2 into their polyol and downstream plastics applications.


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Author, Econic

Econic Technologies secures £3.2m funding

9th November 2020

Climate impact catalyst technology company, Econic Technologies, announces that it has raised £3.2 million pounds funding via a convertible loan. The loan includes a £1.6 million investment from the UK government’s Future Fund, which was established to support innovative businesses through the COVID-19 outbreak, matched by funds from existing investors OGCI Climate Investments and IP Group plc.

The funding will be used to drive forward the commercialisation of Econic’s pioneering catalyst technologies, which enable manufacturers to harness the value of waste CO2 recycling it directly into existing processes to displace traditional oil-based chemicals. The unique technology is energy efficient and reduces cost at the same time as delivering clear climate change impact by both using captured CO2 and reducing future emissions through decreasing use of fossil-based chemicals. The technology has moved from laboratory to industrial pilot scale in the past two years with extensive process and product validation. Econic is now moving to deploy the technology at commercial scale in the first target market, polyols for polyurethane, in collaboration with material producers and downstream users looking to harness the product benefits and positive climate impact. At the same time, the Econic technology platform aligns directly with other key application markets such as surfactants where the drive for more sustainable products is creating new opportunities and partnerships.

Rowena Sellens, CEO of Econic Technologies, commented:

 “This additional support will help Econic accelerate customer adoption of what is an economically attractive route to more sustainable products, reducing the climate impact of materials that we all use in our everyday lives. We will be working closely with existing and new commercial partners to make that happen.”

Just Jansz, Chairman of Econic Technologies, added:

“I would like to thank Econic’s shareholders for their continued support, as well as the Future Fund, in these extraordinary times. Impressive progress in the past year has positioned the Company well for a number of exciting partnership discussions aimed at progressing commercialisation in polyols for polyurethanes and accelerating deployment of the technology into other markets such as surfactants.”


About the Future Fund

The Future Fund will support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. Initially, £250 million was made available by the government for investment through the scheme, to be matched by private investors, with the Treasury making clear the amount could be increased if needed. Due to the popularity of the Fund, more funding is being made available. Developed by the government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund launched for applications in May and will initially be open until the end of November.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

CO2nversations – Michael Kember

As Econic grows significantly and moves towards commercialisation, so too do our scientific innovations. These technological developments form part of the foundation, and the future, of our company, so it’s important that we protect them, in the same way that you would your house or car. This is where Dr Michael Kember, our Head of Research and Intellectual Property, and also a co-founder of Econic, steps in.

Mike determines the direction that our research team take in the development of new generations of catalysts and CO2-containing polymeric products, not only in terms of the fundamental scientific developments, but also in their protection as Econic’s intellectual property. This task requires Mike and the team to have a forensic understanding of the current IP landscape to see where and how Econic fits in, and the directions  future technology innovations can take. “It is important that we protect our catalyst technologies at all stages of development.” Mike states, “This protection is crucial in establishing the place of our unique catalyst systems’ foothold in the market. It also allows our customers the freedom to use these technologies in their own business processes, opening up the advantages of CO2-based polyols and materials.”

Econic’s IP portfolio is an ever-evolving, growing collection, currently consisting of more than 30 granted patents that span from polymerisation catalysts and the processes used in our technology, to enhanced polyurethane products made using CO2-containing polyols. This portfolio will only continue to diversify as we develop new generations of our catalyst technologies for use in the polyols for the polyurethane market, and, looking ahead, to wider plastics markets. The potential is far-reaching and we are only just scratching the surface.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

CO2nversations – Solène Cauët-Fidge

Safety is one of the founding values that underpins how Econic operates not only on a day-to-day basis in our laboratories and Customer Demonstration Facility, but also as we plan for the commercialisation of our catalyst technologies and further growth of the company. Dr Solène Cauët-Fidge, our Safety and Laboratory Manager, is leading the charge in implementing our Health and Safety policies throughout our very diverse activities across two sites.

Guaranteeing safety compliance in a growing company, whilst also ensuring that research can run with minimal disruptions, can be a challenge for Health and Safety. “Working with the research team who carry out a breadth of activities, as well as ever-developing processes and working conditions, keeps me on my toes” says Solène. “But, it’s the dynamic nature of Econic that makes it so exciting! My days can involve anything from managing the use of new chemicals on a laboratory scale, to developing the company’s H&S policy, to considering the safety implications of scaling a process to the demonstration scale or beyond.”

As we move closer to the commercialisation of our catalyst technologies, it is vital that we maintain the highest levels of safety practices as we not only develop and transfer internally our processes from the lab to plant scale, but also as we move to test these systems in our customers’ facilities. Safety processes are an integral element of helping our customers to realise the full potential of incorporating waste CO2 into their polyol and downstream plastics applications.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn

CO2nversations – Tom Lynch

Industrial placements are invaluable – to both undergraduate students and companies. Students are offered the chance to use their theoretical knowledge in real world technical applications, as well as gain transferable skills in working in industry and, of course, being exposed to a plethora of new scientific concepts and skills. For companies, in particular SMEs like Econic, we have the opportunity to work with motivated students from a range of backgrounds who bring new skills and creative ideas to a growing technical team.

One of our current industrial placement students is Tom Lynch, who is spending the fourth year of his Chemical Engineering degree at Loughborough University as a member of our Process Development team. Guided by our process development experts, Tom has played an instrumental role in the development of our downstream polyol processing and the transfer of these processes from the lab to pilot scale, as well as the generation of valuable data to help our customers efficiently scale their use of our technologies. Tom has found working in Econic’s continually developing environment to be most rewarding: “The smaller team size means that I’ve had the opportunities for more responsibilities and opportunities than those of my classmates who work at much larger companies, especially since I have been able to work on projects in both the lab and at the Customer Demonstration Facility.”

As we move closer to the commercialisation of our catalyst technologies, the downstream process development and transfer of our systems from the lab to plant scales are a vital step in helping our customers to realise the full potential of incorporating waste CO2 into their polyol and downstream plastics applications.


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Author, Anthea Blackburn