Renewable chemistry


From time immemorial, vegetable oils and fats have had numerous daily uses, such as lubrication, lighting and paint. Shunted into second place with the growth of petroleum derivatives, they are now coming back in force, as they are now seen as a prime material for developing chemistry based on renewable raw materials. 
With applications in sectors as varied as processed food products, cosmetics, automobile, oil exploration, printing and building, renewable chemistry provides alternative solutions to petroleum-based products with several advantages: technological performance, respect for people and the preservation of nature. A major player in this field, Avril proposes these solutions to manufacturers in many sectors, including the traditional chemistry industry.


The Group is the global leader in vegetable glycerine, a by-product of the production of biodiesel, and the European leader in renewable chemistry. It produces and markets a wide range of molecules and formulas based on vegetable oils (rapeseed, sunflower, palm, soy and coconut) and animal fats (tallow). These renewable products are used as intermediate substances or in ready-to-use forms.

  • Oleochemistry applications are extremely varied and are found in all sectors of daily life.
  • Vegetable-based solvents are found in formulas for inks, paints, cosmetic products, lubricants and phytosanitary products.
  • In the realm of food, vegetable-based emulsifiers and additives improve the functional and sensorial properties of foods and ingredients.
  • Green polyols are used in the polyurethane foams present in mattresses, car rear decks and insulating/waterproofing materials.
  • Bio-propylene glycol is a molecule with numerous properties, essential in a wide range of products such as liquid antifreeze, detergents and resins, and also glass fibre composite materials such as wind turbine blades.
  • Fatty acid esters provide emollient and emulsifying properties to cosmetic products

Avril subsidiaries engaged in renewable chemistry: Oleon


Renewable chemistry is a promising and strategic focus for development in the valorisation of oilseeds. It responds to the increasing demand from consumers for biosourced products that are both renewable and environmentally friendly.

In addition, innovations in this area foster the development of completely new products. Lastly, in promoting the production of oil, the development of plant-based chemistry produces a valuable by-product: the oilseed meal used as animal nutrition – a virtuous circle promoting France's independence in proteins.
This is why Avril constantly invests in Research Development and Innovation programmes to help science progress and find new applications, such as the P.I.V.E.R.T. project near Compiègne, Europe's leading green chemistry research, development and innovation centre.