The chemical sector in Europe has a weak position on feedstock and energy, operational costs are high and there are negative geographical shifts in demand. The electricity sector suffers from a split between the “old” fossil based activities with a bad reputation and position, but able to supply necessary energy at a constant level, and the “new” renewable based activities that are growing rapidly due to government incentives and public demand, but give very fluctuating local supply.

It is our vision that the energy and chemical sector will help each other to solve some of their most difficult challenges with respect to energy use, efficiency and selectivity. This is achieved by using flexible and abundant sustainable electricity directly and indirectly in the chemical industry for production of fuels, plastics and fertilizers. Which in turn will lead to a high-tech industry delivering technical solutions enabling this industrial electrification.

VoltaChem was initiated by applied knowledge institutes TNO and ECN (now ECN part of TNO) with support of the industry and academia, focusing research and development efforts in the field of chemicals and energy on industrial electrification and associated decarbonisation of the industry. This collaboration started at the end of 2014 at the request of The Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Topsector Chemicals with an initial grant of 2 million euros and has been growing ever since.

The VoltaChem brand

The 'Electrification of the Chemical Industry' program needed to get a recognizable and appealing brand name. After careful consideration we are proud to present the new brand name: VoltaChem! The name VoltaChem is built from two parts. ‘Volta’ is based on Alessandro Volta (1745-1827).

He was an Italian physicist and chemist best known as the inventor of the electrical battery and the discoverer of methane. With this inventions he proved that electricity could be generated also chemically. ‘Chem’ denotes chemistry and indicates that the focus of the program is on chemistry. The new, iconic logo nicely connects sustainable energy to chemistry, just like the name VoltaChem implies.

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