In pursuit of a plant-based finish
Is it really possible to produce an eco-friendly, low-toxin paint made from plants that performs as well as crude oil-based paint? What types of plants are used and how much is inside each tin of paint? And what exactly is the benefit of all this to people, planet - and performance? These are the questions we began asking ourselves at DSM a couple of years ago…so we set about trying to find some answers. The result (so far) is Decovery®: the cleanest coating resin solutions with maximum performance and minimal impact on the planet.
Step 1: Our scientists take the basic plant materials and convert them into tiny biobased building blocks about one seventh the width of a human hair in length.
Step 2: We then start fitting these blocks together one at a time (not unlike the way an architect or designer builds their creation).
Step 3: These structures in turn create polymers with a wide range of properties (each made from millions of sub-units known as monomers).
Step 4: The resulting biobased polymers form our Decovery® family of eco-friendly paint resins.
Markets & Products
Building & Construction
Decovery® is a unique, eco-friendly family of plant-based paint resins for Decorative and Architectural markets including walls, ceilings, flooring and joinery.
Decovery® is a unique, eco-friendly family of plant-based paint resins for furniture, kids’ furniture and kitchen cabinets.
Frequently asked questions
Non-renewable fossil feedstocks, like crude oil are not only becoming scarcer but they also contribute to climate change. By using plant-based materials that perform as well as (if not better than) fossil-based equivalents we unlock environmental benefits that reduce our overall ecological footprint. In markets like paint, for example, we see customers increasingly making this a key part of their decision criteria.
The environmental impact is measured through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - also known as life-cycle analysis, eco-balance, or cradle-to-grave analysis.
The LCA is a technique for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and ending with disposal or recycling. Increasingly we use this process to guide us in the way we design products. For example it helps us determine how much energy goes into and out of a product over its life and the subsequent effect on environment – which ultimately helps us make better-informed decisions. The bigger the market for plant-based paint becomes, and the largerr the scale of our production, the greater the benefits will be.
The environmental footprint of Decovery® is already significantly better than solvent-borne resins, and slightly better than traditional acrylic polymers. In future we intend to reduce its footprint further by increasing the volume of plant-based content and our use of biomass waste materials.