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New electrochemical solutions for industrial processing, which contribute to a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions
Deadline: 19 Jan 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Horizon 2020

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Renewable Energy
 Environment
 Waste Management
 Chemicals
 Horizon2020
 Research

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Electrochemical processes have the potential to be highly efficient and thereby create less by-product waste compared to conventional chemical processes. Important reasons for the industrial interest include the use of less expensive starting materials, less aggressive process conditions (e.g. lower temperatures with less degradation of feed and/or product), fewer processing steps (for example electrochemical synthesis and product separation may be combined in one reactor), precise control of oxidation or reduction level by control of electrode potential and discovery of unique processing routes to establish new markets for products. In addition, electrochemical processes have the potential to replace polluting chemical reactions with more environmentally friendly electrochemical reactions.

Despite the large number of chemicals available in the market, electrochemical synthesis of chemicals has until now been limited to a narrow spectrum. However, advances in electrochemical synthesis and methods are now possible and facilitated by recent developments in materials science, nanotechnology, and by the development of new in-situ analytical techniques or the progress in multi-scale modelling. This provides opportunities for new approaches for the electrochemical manufacturing of products.

Intensive research into organic and inorganic electrochemical processing promises major developments in different applications, specifically with the prospect of greatly reduced electricity consumption and the use of electrical power generated from environmentally friendly production processes like wind and solar energy, thereby contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Scope:

Proposals should develop new electrochemical methodologies for industrial processing and provide a proof of the economic and industrial feasibility of the new technologies. The proposed solutions should also have the potential for integration into existing industrial operations. A prospect for a wider impact of the proposed solutions on the process industry is also needed.

Important aspects that should be taken into account are:

  • Easy integration with renewable energy (electricity from renewable production sources).
  • Electrochemical synthesis and/or electrolysis which allows the direct creation of products (e.g. fuels, chemicals, metals, nanomaterials and new functional surface layers).
  • Ease of operation at low temperature and pressure conditions.
  • Integration of product produced into existing storage and supply infrastructures.
  • Significant improvements in energy and resource efficiency compared to the commercially available analogue (or similar process) with reduction of direct and/or indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improvement in safety and the work environment.
  • Life Cycle Assessment to provide a basis for environmental sustainability.

Projects will carry out demonstration activities in industrial environments aimed at confirming the industrial relevance and feasibility of the proposed technologies, showing the potential for integration in existing operations.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6.This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Decrease by 25% of energy use compared to related non-electrochemical processes
  • Decrease by 30% of Green House Gases emissions compared to related non-electrochemical processes
  • Strengthen the global position of European process industry through the wide adoption of new technologies related to electrochemical processing of materials in the different application actions.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.



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