LONDON – Accsys Technologies, an environmental science and technology company, has entered into a license agreement with Rhodia Acetow GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of international specialty chemical and plastic company the Solvay Group, for exclusive rights to Accsys’ proprietary acetylation technology for a 15-year period.
Additionally, the conditional license agreement allows Rhodia Acetow to manufacture, distribute and sell Accoya® wood in more than 40 European countries with the exception of the UK, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. The agreement also allows the construction of multiple Accoya wood production facilities in various locations over a period of 25 years.
The first Rhodia Acetow plant is projected to be in operation by the end of 2014 and will have an initial capacity of 2.2 million cubic feet (or 63,000m³) of finished Accoya wood output. Accsys’ first plant, based in The Netherlands, will continue to operate as a research and development unit in addition to its production of Accoya wood supplying the remaining European countries and the rest of the world.
Accsys uses proprietary acetylation technology, studied by scientists around the world for more than 80 years, to manufacture Accoya wood, the first commercially available acetylated wood in the world. The process alters the wood’s reaction with water by permanently replacing free hydroxyls within the wood with stable acetyl groups that will not bond with water. Acetyl groups are naturally present in all wood species, which means that nothing toxic is added into the wood. The altered cell structure of the wood makes it an unrecognizable food source, preventing fungal decay and insect attack, as well as increasing its strength and dimensional stability. The wood is sourced from FSC- and PEFC-certified forests and carries a Cradle to Cradle Gold certification. Accoya wood comes with a 50-year above-ground and 25-year below-ground warranty against rot, decay and dimensional stability.
"It is a pleasure to introduce Rhodia Acetow as our newest licensee with whom we have been working closely for some time,” said Paul Clegg, CEO for Accsys Technologies. “Rhodia is a leader in the production and sale of a wide range of performance materials sold into key market sectors of relevance to Accsys, including its use in buildings and the urban environment. As one of the world’s leading producers of cellulose acetate, a material that shares certain processing components with our acetylation technology, they also have the technical capabilities to make the license a success.”