Our work

R&D approach and services

To support customers from the chemical industry in their switch to novel processes, TNO is making chemical production more cost-efficient and sustainable. This is done by sourcing from our multidisciplinary expertise organization and extensive academic and business partner network.

We look at novel process technologies and products using a sophisticated step-by-step approach in which we judge, together with our customer, what novel techniques and procedures are the best to be implemented from a technical and economic perspective. This leads to new products and processes that have higher added value through innovation.
Companies large and small can use our services. We work on direct contract research to help modernizing chemical products and processes in short time-frames with more proven technologies. We also work on more shared research for developing new technologies and showcases e.g. in national or EU open innovation projects. Depending on the partner's needs different business models can be applied.

Solving complex problems

TNO solves complex problems that have to do with chemistry, reactor/separation technology and formulation technology. In that process, we use internal and external technology and knowledge. Our approach in providing an adequate answer to companies' issues comprises various steps that may vary depending on the clients' specific needs:

  • Scoping: Together with the company we make a thorough inventory of the challenge, including the preconditions.
  • Assessing: Subsequently, experts - if necessary from different disciplines - work out the most suitable options: what technology is most suitable, the advantages, the risks, the recovery time and so on. We make choices, together with the client.
  • Lab feasibility: We show whether the chosen route is technically and economically feasible by means of a few cleverly chosen small-scale experiments in the TNO lab.
  • Medium scale feasibility: If these experiments go well, the bench-scale feasibility step follows. We build a plant on a small scale to test the feasibility of the new process. This usually takes place in our lab, but in some cases, it may only be allowed at the client's premises because of the regulations concerning hazardous substances.

Real innovation by application from other sectors

In our staged approach, customers regularly succeed in launching a new products on the market that were not feasible before. Through TNO, they often become acquainted with technologies that, beforehand, neither of the parties would have thought of. Surprising outcomes can emerge when in the first two steps an issue is discussed thoroughly with several multi-disciplinary experts and when all the options are listed.
There are several examples of problems in the chemical sector for which TNO has had a technology available which was developed for something totally different. For example, the technique Memstill® was once thought up by TNO to desalinate water, but this separation technology is now successfully applied in recovering organics from chemical waste water. Also, TNO's Helix® reactor arose from an application which was originally developed for efficient heat transfer in district heating.

Our work

CO2 Utilisation for Chemicals and Fuels

Effective abatement of carbon dioxide (CO2) is about more than just capture and storage. It's about finding ways to utilise this gas in new and innovative ways that support both the chemical industry... Read more

Marja Eijkman new Managing Director Unit Defence, Safety & Security

21 January 2020
We are pleased to announce that Ir. M.J. (Marja) Eijkman (54) will join TNO on 16 April 2020 as Managing Director of the unit Defence, Safety & Security, succeeding Henk Geveke. Mrs Eijkman has broad... Read more

NetForce Command: an alternative for command and control in a changing world

12 December 2019
What happens if hierarchical command and control no longer work in the hyper-connective world of tomorrow? Today, at Innovation in Defence in The Hague, one of TNO’s leading research groups presented the... Read more

Innovative crisis management solutions assessed in realistic simulation of a flooding scenario in The Netherlands

23 May 2019
On 22nd and 23rd May 2019, five innovative solutions were assessed in a realistic simulation of a flooding scenario in The Hague, The Netherlands. The simulation was part of a two-day tabletop DRIVER+... Read more



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