Chemicals and Materials

The Chemicals and Materials Cluster promotes the growth of Singapore’s economy through the development of R&D capabilities in the chemicals and materials space, and promoting innovations in the broad areas of energy and sustainability.



  • Biomass-to-Chemicals

The Biomass-to-Chemicals initiative recognises the need for Singapore to position itself for the inevitable shift of the chemicals industry towards biorenewable feedstocks. To address the various challenges surrounding the nascent field, A*STAR aims to develop various technological capabilities ranging from the chemicals sciences to biological sciences The programme seeks to develop the Biomass-to-Chemicals research portfolio through two complementary tracks:

  1. Route Development
    Route development activities are focused on addressing the derivation of specific targets from biomass or biomass-derived feedstocks. Outcome of such efforts will be technologies which are directly translatable into the industry and platform technologies which could be applied to other subsequent chemical targets. Route development activities can be classified into 4 main activities, namely:  Acrylic acid (C3), Butadiene & Butene (C4), Adipic Acid (C5) and Biomass-derived Materials.

  2. Capability Development
    Capability development projects are focussed on addressing the technological capabilities which are essential to form the technology base needed for route development activities.

In addition, A*STAR develops its research capabilities and technologies that enable the conversion of biomass into high-value chemicals or materials, such as emulsifiers, surfactants, lube additives.

For more information, please contact:
Dr Choi Won Jae, ICES (


  • No-Small Organic Compounds

The No-Small Organic Compounds (no-SOC) programme aims to build first-in-class capabilities and to develop platform technologies to support product-centric innovations which can be primarily applied to specialty coatings, and also consumer care products, personal care products. The effort draws on A*STAR’s capabilities in polymer chemistry, emulsion polymerization, hybrid coatings and surface characterization.


  • Oilfield Chemicals Laboratory

The Oilfield Chemicals Laboratory seeks to close the gap between the synthetic and physical chemistry expertise for Enhanced Oil Recovery and the application knowledge that is required for testing oilfield chemical formulations on geological samples from oil fields in lab scale experiments. This research programme supports Singapore’s strategy to develop leadership in oilfield chemicals as this speciality chemicals sector gravitates towards the Eastern Hemisphere where new reserves of oil and natural gas are bring developed in recent years. A*STAR seeks to develop capabilities in the design, synthesis, and formulation of surfactants, water soluble polymers and additives to enhance the recovery rate of oil from oilfields during the decline phase.

The opening of the oilfield chemicals lab took place in May 2016, and the lab now has fully developed capabilities in: Core flood experiments under reservoir conditions, polymer and surfactant flooding, advanced interfacial and rheological analysis, nano-EOR, paraffin wax deposition and inhibition studies, crude oil analysis and multiphase flow visualization.

For more information, please contact:
Dr Ludger Paul Stubbs (ICES) (