Econic signs MOU with Sanyo Chemical to advance CO2-based polyols

April 15, 2024

Macclesfield, England, UK

Econic, a CM Venture portfolio company focused on making use of renewable carbon, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sanyo Chemical. The companies will assess Econic’s technology for the production of CO2-based polyols for use in sustainable, high-performance polyurethanes.

Econic was born from a vision where catalyst chemistry can transform waste CO2 into high performance products made from renewable carbon. Manufacturers use the Econic process and catalyst to upcycle CO2 into a key ingredient that replaces expensive fossil fuels in polymers. This vision was crystallized by Professor Charlotte Williams, then at Imperial College London, and now Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. 

Econic’s chemistry makes materials perform better and cost less, so modern life can be lived with less impact on the planet. The technology is based on a proprietary catalyst and process that allows manufacturers to replace up to 30 percent of the fossil-based component in their polyols with captured CO2. The resulting high-performance polyols can be used in foams, laminates, coatings, and elastomers for applications such as furniture and mattresses, automotive, construction, footwear and apparel, and many industrial uses.


“Commercializing products based on renewable carbon is increasingly important in light of climate change and the need to shift to a circular economy. By essentially upcycling and extending the life of captured CO2 that is already above ground, carbon utilization technologies have an important role to play. We are pleased to have reached an understanding with Sanyo Chemical to explore bringing our solution for renewable carbon to Japan’s manufacturing sector,” said Econic CEO Keith Wiggins.


Changhua in China, Monument Chemical in the US and Manali in India have already licensed Econic’s technology. Industrial quantities of PCE polyols based on Econic’s technology will be available in market later this year.


About Econic Technologies
Econic Technologies is a UK-based deep tech company focused on renewable carbon. Its innovative catalyst and process technology allows manufacturers to produce polymers based on CO₂ instead of petrochemicals. The use of CO₂ enhances sustainability while creating more cost-effective, higher-performing end products. Econic licenses its technology to polyols and surfactants manufacturers that supply some of the world’s most iconic consumer brands. Econic was founded in 2011 by Dr. Charlotte Williams at Imperial College London. The company is part of Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100. Its global headquarters are in Alderley Park, UK just outside of Manchester.


About Sanyo Chemical
Sanyo Chemical established in 1949 in Kyoto, Japan, is a global manufacturer and seller of performance chemicals. Beginning as a manufacture of soap and texture agents they have since diversified their product portfolio to meet market needs. Today, they feature over 3,000 different types of products and have established an international presence. Their portfolio of chemicals spans a variety of industries and types, from automotive components to daily-use electronics, as well as cosmetics and medical equipment, all with the aim of creating more safe and environmentally-friendlier offerings, improving lives and societies across the world. They aim to contribute to realize a sustainable society through corporate activities.