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AUBONNE, Switzerland

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2012

The Eco2CO2 project aims at exploiting a photo-electro-chemical (PEC) CO2 conversion route for the synthesis of methanol as a key intermediate for the production of fine chemicals (fragrances, flavourings, adhesives, monomers,) in a lignocellulosic biorefinery. A distinct improvement in the ecological footprint of the envisaged chemical industries will thus be achieved by: i) boosting the potential of lignocellulosic biorefineries by exploiting secondary by-products such as furfurals or lignin; ii) providing a small but non-negligible contribution to the reduction of CO2 release into the atmosphere by exploitation of sunlight as an energy source. The most crucial development in the project will be the development of a PEC reactor capable of converting CO2 into methanol by exploiting water and sun light with a targeted conversion efficiency exceeding 6%, with reference to wavelengths above 400 nm, and an expected durability of 10.000 h. The above specifications must be reached without using expensive noble metals or precious materials which should enable costs of the PEC panels lower than 60 Euro/m2 including the installation. Catalytic reactions of methanol and furfural to produce perfuming agents via partial oxidation or methylation, as well as of lignin or lignin depolymerisation derivatives to produce adhesives or monomers (e.g. p-xylene) will undergo a R&D programme to achieve cost effective production of green fine chemicals, proven by the end of the project via lab bench tests of at least 100 g/h production rates. Based on early calculations, if successful, the Eco2CO2 technologies should be capable of inducing avoided CO2 emissions by the year 2020 as high as 50 Mtons/year worldwide.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-2.4-1 | Award Amount: 9.75M | Year: 2009

ORION puts together a multidisciplinary consortium of leading European universities, research institutes and industries with the overall goal of advancing the fabrication of inorganic-organic hybrid materials using ionic liquids. Maximum research efforts within ORION will be addressed to achieve inorganic-organic hybrids with an ordered nanostructure and to understand and characterize the new generation of inorganic-organic hybrids. ORION aims to take advantage of the properties of Ionic Liquids as templating supramolecular solvents in the synthesis of novel hybrid materials. Additionally, the use of ILs will bring innovative properties to the hybrid materials due to their intrinsic wide electrochemical window and high ionic conductivity and hence this method will generate radically new materials. The new ordered inorganic-organic hybrids will be morphologically and electrochemically characterized with emphasis on their potential application in batteries, innovative solar cells and gas sensors. By reaching this ambitious goal, ORION will pave the way towards inorganic-organic hybrid products for chemical, materials, energy and sensor industries.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2012

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are a promising new generation of photovoltaic which have relatively high performance compared to silicon-based solar cells in many non-ideal light environments such as dim, diffuse and indoor light. They are on the verge of wide-scale commercialization but still face challenging issues to solve on long-term stability, materials cost and ability to recycle. Many of these issues are rooted in the liquid phase of the cell, the dye / electrolyte pairing. In particular, the reliance on the rare earth Ruthenium as the active constituent of the dye has strong implications on the raw material cost and could potentially be difficult to source in the long term. The ADIOS-Ru project aims to develop a suite of materials for highly stable, low cost DSSC with immediate commercialisation potential. Organic dyes have reached an advanced stage in laboratory development and the RTD partners will undergo selection, modification, analysis and stability improvement tasks in order to provide the SME partners with a low cost alternative to the universally used Ruthenium dye. An ionic liquid electrolyte with tailored properties to support the dye performance will be selected and developed. The SME partners will aid in materials validation, accelerated stability testing amd lab to industrial scaling of production, and design and validate a DSSC device tuned specifically for the dye/electrolyte combination. The RTD performers in the consortium are leading European institutes in the field of DSSC, with numerous publications and patents relating to the development of the technology. The SMEs are the furthest advanced value chain members in the DSSC market, and therefore have the industrial capability to quickly exploit the results of this project. The SMEs have complementary, non-conflicting roles in the supply of materials for DSSC and the production of the final devices, and will work in cooperation to build European leadership in the DSSC market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.10.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2009

Leaves can split water into oxygen and hydrogen at ambient conditions exploiting sun light. Prof. James Barber, one of the key players of SOLHYDROMICS, was the recipient of the international Italgas Prize in 2005 for his studies on Photosystem II (PSII), the enzyme that governs this process. In photosynthesis, H2 is used to reduce CO2 and give rise to the various organic compounds needed by the organisms or even oily compounds which can be used as fuels. However, a specific enzyme, hydrogenase, may lead to non-negligible H2 formation even within natural systems under given operating conditions. Building on this knowledge, and on the convergence of the work of the physics, materials scientists, biochemists and biologists involved in the project, an artificial device will be developed to convert sun energy into H2 with 10% efficiency by water splitting at ambient temperature, including: -) an electrode exposed to sunlight carrying PSII or a PSII-like chemical mimic deposited upon a suitable electrode -) a membrane enabling transport of both electrons and protons via e.g. carbon nanotubes or TiO2 connecting the two electrodes and ion-exchange resins like e.g. Nafion, respectively -) a cathode carrying the hydrogenase enzyme or an artificial hydrogenase catalyst in order to recombine protons and electrons into pure molecular hydrogen at the opposite side of the membrane The project involves a strong and partnership hosting highly ranked scientists (from the Imperial College London, the Politecnico di Torino and the GKSS research centre on polymers in Geesthacht) who have a significant past cooperation record and four high-tech SMEs (Solaronix, Biodiversity, Nanocyl and Hysytech) to cover with expertise and no overlappings the key tasks of enzyme purification and enzyme mimics development, enzyme stabilisation on the electrodes, membrane development, design and manufacturing of the SOLHYDROMICS proof-of-concept prototype, market and technology implementation studies

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 5.67M | Year: 2013

According to European Commission [EC, COM (2012) 572, 3.10.2012] important challenges at European level are related to the establishment of validated method and instrumentation for detection, characterization and analysis of nanoparticles. In the framework of the SETNanometro project, the use of various measurement techniques for the determination of the NPs properties will allow to move from the currently used trial and error approach toward the development of well defined and controlled protocols for the production of TiO2 NPs. A particular care will be devoted to the establishment of correct metrological traceability chain in order to ensure the reliability of the results. The lack of international measurement standards for calibration is an aspect of particular relevance in nanotechnologies as it is difficult to select a universal calibration artefact to achieve repeatability at nanoscale. The materials produced according to such procedures, will be hence sufficiently characterised and homogeneous in their properties to become candidate Certified Reference Materials to be used in various applications where the lack of metrological traceability is encountered. The project results are expected to lead to fundamental impacts on the following areas: Environment: the increased knowledge of TiO2 NPs will improve the photocatalytic properties for the treatment of pollutants in air and water Energy: the better knowledge of dimension and electronic structure of TiO2 will allow to improve the traceability of DSSC measurements. Health: the engineering of topographic and surface composition of TiO2 nanostructured coatings of orthopaedic and dental prostheses will support the design of rules for the production of devices exhibiting otpimized interfacial properties for a better and quicker integration of the implants in the hosting bone tissues.

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