Paint from plants with Decovery®

The ultimate in ‘green’ paint

Painting a brighter future with Decovery®

The idea of returning home to walls and furniture painted with crude oil isn’t a very pleasant one. But it may be closer to home than you think. Not only does traditional paint contribute to harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); it contains large amounts of fossil fuel based-solvents. Even in conventional water-based paints, there is still a high amount of fossil-based contents that aren’t great for the health of the planet and its people. But what if someone could replace them with sustainable plant-based materials such as tree bark or castor bean seeds to create a high-performing plant-based paint? It’s a nice idea but surely, impossible. Or is it…?

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The heart & soul of paint

Decovery® is a family of DSM paint resins with a difference: it’s made primarily from plants - with a carbon footprint up to one-third lower than traditional solvent-borne paint resins. As the heart & soul of the paint, it literally binds the product together, creating a high-quality paint for everything from walls and ceilings to kid’s furniture.

Today, the Decovery resin contains anywhere from 30% - 50% plant-based content from sustainable sources. Most importantly, Decovery performs equally to (in some cases better than) all traditional paint resins. It’s durable, chemical resistant and provides a great finish with no yellowing effect (the main problem with previous bio-based paint resins).

Creating a safer & healthier environment

At DSM we’ve aligned our strategy specifically with five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015. In the case of Decovery that means:

Decovery aims to help achieve this by reducing the levels of organic chemicals and other toxins in paint, thus ensuring a safer, healthier environment.

Science & Innovation

Just one example of this is Sigma Air Pure paint, produced by global coatings giant PPG Coatings with Decovery inside. This unique super-matt wall paint not only purifies indoor air by removing harmful volatile organic substances like formaldehyde; it’s nearly 50% plant based. Says Maarten Buijs, Manager of Sustainability and New Business Development at PPG Coatings: “With this binding agent, we’ve achieved the optimal balance between sustainability and ease of processing… that’s demonstrably almost 50% bio-based. Now that’s what I call impressive!”

Our scientist achieved this impressive feat by taking the basic plant materials and converting them into bio-based building blocks. We then start fitting these blocks together to create polymers with a wide range of properties (each made from millions of sub-units known as monomers.). It’s these that form Decovery.

Stage 1

Our scientists take the basic plant materials and convert them into tiny bio-based building blocks about one seventh the width of a human hair in length.

Stage 2

We then start fitting these blocks together one at a time (not unlike the way an architect or designer builds their creation).

Stage 3

These structures in turn create polymers with a wide range of properties (each made from millions of sub-units known as monomers).

Stage 4

The resulting biobased polymers form our Decovery family of eco-friendly paint resins. 

The future

DSM is developing a range of new grades across several end markets and have started our global expansion all the way from North America to China. And we intend to go even further in creating even more sustainable and high-performing resins for paints and finishes.

Decovery has sparked a genuine sustainable movement towards 100% plant-based paints and finishes – and we intend to finish the job.

Read more

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