Industrial chemistry

We provide the expertise needed by manufacturers to create new high-value products, materials and formulations. Natural polymer processing is our speciality.

Photograph of Ferrier researcher performing industrial chemistry

We work alongside businesses internationally to develop new products and processes, as well as troubleshoot and improve existing production methods.

As chemists, we approach industrial problems from a molecular basis, but with an understanding of the requirements of industrial manufacturing. This unique approach can bring a fresh perspective to your technical challenges.

We have particular experience with natural polysaccharides as diverse and complex as cellulose and heparan sulfate. This enables us to tackle a wide range of projects, from developing new commodity materials to high-value therapeutics manufactured under cGMP (good manufacturing practice).

New Zealand industry and international collaborations

Many New Zealand industries have already recognised the value of what we can offer. As well as tapping into our expertise, they appreciate the opportunity to take on a research programme or develop a new product without bearing the full risk of it themselves.

We have ongoing relationships with the following industries and organisations:

  • Argenta Manufacturing Limited (animal health)
  • A*STAR, Institute of Medical Biology (biomedical research)
  • D’Arcy Polychrome Limited (pigments)
  • Nuplex Industries Limited (industrial chemicals)
  • Resene Paints Limited (coatings)
  • The Population Council (pharmaceutical development)
  • Zelam Limited (crop and timber protection).

We offer a flexible approach to industry and are happy to discuss your needs.

Expertise and resources

A highly flexible, skilled workforce and a fully equipped laboratory and pilot-plant environment enable us to tackle a broad range of chemical synthesis and engineering projects.

We have access to the scientific literature and the know-how to apply it in the development of a new process or product. As a team, we enjoy finding creative solutions to industry problems and often adapt a technology from another industry to do the job, instead of creating something new.

Our team of PhD-qualified scientists and engineers has experience at laboratory, pilot plant and large scale, including process engineering. Our chemistry expertise spans organic, organometallic chemistry, aromatic chemistry, carbohydrate chemistry, Lewis acid-mediated reactions and homogeneous catalysis.

Read about our polymer formulation service.


We have an extensive network of collaborators who provide a diverse resource to draw on. Built up over 20 years, they can assist with sourcing raw materials, logistics, quality assurance and control, as well as providing expert opinion and technical expertise.

Machinery and equipment

In conjunction with our large-scale manufacturing partner, GlycoSyn, we have laboratory and pilot-scale chemical processing facilities available.

Our equipment includes:

  • glass reactors from 500 mL to 2500 L
  • evaporation equipment from 1 to 100 L
  • freeze-dryers
  • calorimetry for process scale-up.

Client comment

"Their chemists developed a manufacturing process and custom analytical methods, delivering carrageenan on time that met our specifications.

"Moving forward, they are investigating efficiency in the manufacturing process during scale-up. We look forward to our continued work with the Ferrier Research Institute."

Kyle Kleinbeck, PhD, Senior Research Investigator, The Population Council