Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-16-2014 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2015
Securing abundant, affordable, and clean energy remains a critical scientific challenge. Fortuitously, large shale formations occur within Europe. As the conventional gas production in Europe peaked in 2004, European shale gas could become a practical necessity for the next 50 years. However, the exploitation of shale gas remains challenging. Further, its environmental footprint is at present poorly quantified. Great care is needed to assess and pursue this energy resource in the safest possible way for the long-term future of Europe whilst protecting the European diverse natural environment. With this in mind, ShaleXenvironmenT assembled a multi-disciplinary academic team, with strong industrial connections. A comprehensive approach is proposed towards ensuring that the future development of shale gas in Europe will safeguard the public with the best environmental data suitable for governmental appraisal, and ultimately for encouraging industrial best practice. The primary objective is to assess the environmental footprint of shale gas exploitation in Europe in terms of water usage and contamination, induced seismicity, and fugitive emissions. Using synergistically experiments and modeling activities, ShaleXenvironmenT will achieve its objective via a fundamental understanding of rock-fluid interactions, fluid transport, and fracture initiation and propagation, via technological innovations obtained in collaboration with industry, and via improvements on characterization tools. ShaleXenvironmenT will maintain a transparent discussion with all stakeholders, including the public, and will suggest ideas for approaches on managing shale gas exploitation, impacts and risks in Europe, and eventually worldwide. The proposed research will bring economical benefits for consultancy companies, service industry, and oil and gas conglomerates. The realization of shale gas potential in Europe is expected to contribute clean energy for, e.g., the renaissance of the manufacturing industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 2.54M | Year: 2016
Soft chemical-ionization mass-spectrometry (SCIMS) is an exquisitely sensitive analytical technique with applications to health, the environment and security that are vital to the EU. However, the recent, rapid and widespread adoption of this technique has caught Europe unprepared. The resultant shortage in analytical chemical expertise has created an urgent need for highly skilled young researchers to be trained in the wide variety of SCIMS methods. IMPACT addresses this skills shortage by establishing an intersectoral and multidisciplinary SCIMS training network. IMPACT also brings cohesion to the fragmented SCIMS research and development activities within the EU. To date, most SCIMS developments have been driven not by users but by manufacturers, whose main focus has been on increased sensitivity. However, just as crucial is improved selectivity. Indeed, many users consider improved selectivity to be the key to taking SCIMS technology to a whole new level. Instead of private and public sectors working independently, we need a fresh, intersectoral approach. IMPACT will achieve this through intersectoral work packages and multidisciplinary research projects. In place of major and costly changes in instrumental design, IMPACTs projects will focus on developing new methods for improved chemical specificity by manipulating ion chemistry. Hence, IMPACTs fresh approach will produce a step change in SCIMS instrumentation to deliver both economic and societal benefit to the EU. Specifically, IMPACT will train 10 ESRs within an integrated partnership of commercial, governmental and academic organisations, with planned secondments, 5 Advanced Training Courses, 7 interactive Complementary Skills Workshops, and 4 ESR Centred Research Meetings. IMPACT will therefore provide Europe with both a world-class capability in SCIMS technology and a cohort of highly trained researchers who will bring the benefits of that technology to citizens across the EU.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.10.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2010
The proposed project comes with a visionary approach, aiming at development of highly efficient molecular-wire charge transfer platform to be used in a novel generation thin film dye-sensitized solar cells fabricated via organic chemistry routes. The proposed technology combines the assembled dye monolayers, linked with organic molecular wires to semiconducting thin film deposited on optically transparent substrates. Current organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell designs made a significant step towards low cost solar cells technology, however in order to be competitive with Si and CIGs technologies, OPVs have to demonstrate long term stability and power conversion efficiencies above 10% The highest reported power conversion efficiency for OPV device based on bulk heterojunction device with PCBM and low band gap conjugated polymers is today 6.4% but this system seems reaching its limit. Offsets in the energetics of these systems lead to large internal energy losses. The dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) reach the efficiency above 11% but the problems with the stability of the electrolyte are the current bottleneck. The MOLESOL comes with a novel concept of hybrid device combining the advantages of both concepts (i.e. dye coupled with organic molecular wire to a conductive electrode). This concept will lead to stable cells with enhanced conversion efficiency based on: Reduction of critical length for the charge collection generated in the dye monolayer by the inorganic bottom electrode, using short molecular wires compatible with exciton diffusion length. Replacing current inorganic ITO/FTO (n-type) layer by novel transparent wide band p-type semiconductor with a possibility of engineering the surface workfunction and leading to perfect matching between HOMO of the dye layer and the valence band of semiconductors, allowing larger Voc.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2012
The consortium RADDEL (RADioactivity DELivery) has a research-based approach for the training of the new generation of scientists in the development of novel functional nanomaterials . A well structured training program will be provided with a balanced combination of local and network-wide training through secondments, joint network meetings, workshops, schools, industrial training and the final network conference. The research program focuses on the design, synthesis, characterisation, pharmacological studies and dosimetry calculations of nanocapsules that seal in their interior radioactive materials for biomedical applications in the areas of cancer diagnosis and therapy. After sealing the chosen radionuclides, the external walls of the nanocapsules will be decorated with biomolecules to render them biocompatible and for targeting purposes. In a recent study we have recently observed that these nanocapsules allow the delivery of unprecedented radiodosage and remain stable for extended periods thus guaranteeing essentially zero leakage of the radionuclides. Surface functionalisation of these nanocapsules offers versatility towards modulation of tissue biodistribution of the radioemitting crystals in a manner determined by the nanocapsule that delivers them. The delivery of radioactivity takes place through the walls of nanocapsules (carbon) and release of the encapsulated radionuclides is therefore not needed and certainly not desired. The present research objectives go beyond the-state-of-the art in the field and innovative products and solutions are expected.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.30M | Year: 2013
The present project is aimed to the development of a multi-step process for the production of second-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass in a cost-efficient way through the use of tailored nanostructured catalysts. The proposed process is based on the cascade combination of three catalytic transformations: catalytic pyrolysis, intermediate deoxygenation and hydrodeoxygenation. The sequential coupling of catalytic steps will be an essential factor for achieving a progressive and controlled biomass deoxygenation, which is expected to lead to liquid biofuels with a chemical composition and properties similar to those of oil-derived fuels. According to this strategy, the best nanocatalytic system in each step will be selected to deal with the remarkable chemical complexity of lignocellulose pyrolysis products, as well as to optimize the bio-oil yield and properties. Since hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) is outlined in this scheme as the ultimate deoxygenation treatment, the overall hydrogen consumption should be strongly minimized, resulting in a significant improvement of the process economic profitability. The use of nanostructured catalysts will be the key tool for obtaining in each chemical step of the cascade process, the optimum deoxygenation degree, as well as high efficiency, in terms both of matter and energy, minimizing at the same time the possible environmental impacts. The project will involve experiments at laboratory, bench and pilot plant scales, as well as a viability study of its possible commercial application. Thereby, the integrated process will be assessed according to technical, economic, social, safety, toxicological and environmental criteria. The consortium will be formed by 17 partners, including 4 research institutions, 6 universities, 5 large industries and 2 SME.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017
The main objective of the proposal is to contribute to a better harmonisation and synchronisation of priority-setting-, funding- evaluation and life-cycle management of Research Infrastructures (RI through the exchange of best practices among the main stakeholders in member states, associated countries and at European level. The regional dimension will explicitly be taken into account by integrating, where appropriate, smart specialisation strategies in the work carried out. InRoad will achieve this by a) the identification and dissemination of best-practices and common trends of national RI roadmapping procedures and of ex-ante, interim (monitoring) and ex-post evaluation of RI in Europe, b) establishing a trustful dialogue and an intensive exchange of information about national RI roadmapping procedures, RI monitoring and evaluation and sustainable approaches for RI, in line with the objectives laid out in the European Research Area communication and c)fostering a dialogue with the European Commission, ESFRI, the e-IRG and all relevant stakeholders at regional, national and European levels in order to discuss the project findings and promote the dissemination of its recommendations. The InRoad activities and objectives contribute to the specific challenge highlighted in the work programme by a) promoting comparability and synchronisation of national procedures and a possible harmonisation of ex-ante and ex-post evaluation mechanisms through a survey, case studies, interviews and theoretical analyses of current frameworks in use, in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, b) supporting RI policy development in terms of exchange of best practices for national roadmap drafting and evaluation procedures and c) support the information sharing with stakeholders in charge of priority-setting, evaluation, funding and operation of RI through their inclusion in a dedicated Reflection Group.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-6 | Award Amount: 4.88M | Year: 2013
The project 4G-PHOTOCAT allies the expertise of 7 academic and 3 industrial partners from 5 EU countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Poland, and Finland) and 2 ASEAN countries (Malaysia and Vietnam) for the development of a novel generation of low-cost nano-engineered photocatalysts for sunlight-driven water depollution. Through rational design of composites in which the solar light-absorbing semiconductors are coupled to nanostructured redox co-catalysts based on abundant elements, the recombination of photogenerated charges will be suppressed and the rate of photocatalytic reactions will be maximized. In order to achieve fabrication of optimal architectures, advanced chemical deposition techniques with a high degree of control over composition and morphology will be employed and further developed. Furthermore, novel protocols will be developed for the implementation of the photocatalysts into a liquid paint, allowing for the deposition of robust photoactive layers onto flat surfaces, without compromising the photoactivity of immobilized photocatalysts. Such paintable photoreactors are envisaged particularly as low-cost devices for detoxification of water from highly toxic persistent organic pollutants which represent a serious health issue in many remote rural areas of Vietnam and other countries. The 4G-PHOTOCAT project will provide novel scientific insights into the correlation between compositional/structural properties and photocatalytic reaction rates under sunlight irradiation, as well as improved fabrication methods and enhanced product portfolio for the industrial partners. Finally, 4G-PHOTOCAT will lead to intensified collaboration between scientists working at the cutting edge of synthetic chemistry, materials science, heterogeneous photocatalysis, theoretical modelling, and environmental analytics, as well as to unique reinforcement of cooperation between scientists and industry partners from EU and ASEAN countries.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.27M | Year: 2011
Widespread uptake of inorganic semiconductor solar cells has been limited, with current solar cell arrays only producing arround 10 GW of the 15 TW (~0.06%) global energy demand, despite the terrestrial solar resource being 120,000 TW. The industry is growing at a cumulative rate of over 40% per annum, even with effects of the financial crisis. However, to contribute to global power this century, growth of around 100% pa is required. The challenge facing the photovoltaic industry is cost effectiveness through much lower embodied energy. Plastic electronics and solution-processable inorganic semiconductors can revolutionise this industry due to their relatively easy and low cost processability (low embodied energy). The efficiency of solar cells fabricated from these cheap materials, is approaching competitive values, with comparison tests showing better performance for sensitizer activated solar cells with reference to amorphous silicon and CIS in Northern European conditions. A 50% increase of the output will make these new solar cells commercially dominant in all markets since they are superior in capturing photons in non-ideal conditions (angled sun, cloud, haze) having a stable maximum power point over the full range of light intensity. To enable this jump in performance in a timely manner, a paradigm shift is required. The revolutionary approach to these solar cells we are undertaking in the SANS project is exactly that and matches the desires of the IEA for mitigation of climate change. Our objectives are to create: highly efficient panchromatic sensitizers, ideally structured semiconducting metal oxide materials and composites; optimized non-volatile and quasi solid-state electrolyte compositions and solid-state organic hole-transporters; achieve full comprehension of the physical processes occurring during solar cell operation; and realization of a 40,000 hrs out door lifetime, being the springboard for commercialization.