Greener chemical processes for a sustainable industry

The EU-funded ENACT project has used a combination of computer simulation and experimental validation to develop more efficient and sustainable chemical processes for the energy and pharmaceutical sectors - good for the environment, health, and the EU's competitiveness.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 2 April 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnergyReliability of supply  |  Renewable energy sources
EnvironmentClean technology and recycling
Health & life sciencesDrugs & drug processes
Human resources & mobilityCareers & mobility  |  Training
Industrial researchMaterials & products  |  Nanotechnology
International cooperation
NanotechnologyIndustrial  |  Nanoelectronics
Pure sciencesChemistry
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Argentina  |  Ireland  |  United Kingdom
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Greener chemical processes for a sustainable industry

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© pogonici #80588260, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com

Research in ENACT focused on six areas involving chemical processes – ionic liquids, porous liquids, solar cells, heat storage, biomimetic membranes, and mechano-chemical reactions. The advances could lead to improved energy efficiency and less air pollution, impacting the fight against global warming.

For example, in the field of porous liquids, the research advances made by the project could reduce the environmental impact of chemical processes. The project investigated their enormous potential to dissolve gases in a much higher proportion than regular solvents. The work was published in Nature magazine and attracted a lot of attention form the media, the project team reported.

ENACT also made advances in understanding complex mechano-chemical reactions at the atomic level, in particular the co-crystallisation of pharmaceutical drugs. This research opens up the possibility for the pharmaceutical industry to produce drugs via extrusion processes. It could also lead to reducing or eliminating the use of organic solvents in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, lowering the industry’s environmental impact.

In the field of biomimetic membranes, the project reported a better understanding of the conditions under which it is possible to create pores and introduce desired molecules into cells. This advance could help improve drug-delivery systems for better health care.

The project also reported advances in developing ultra-thin membranes that separate gases efficiently, opening a path to lower energy consumption in the petrochemical industry.

Furthermore, the researchers made progress in understanding the effect of nanoparticles in heat-storage systems and the recharging efficiency of dye-sensitised solar cells in ionic liquid electrolytes. This advance could lead to more efficient energy-storage systems and more efficient solar-cell devices.

Training experienced and early-stage researchers was another achievement for the project, which received funding from the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme and ended in December 2018.

Project details

  • Project acronym: ENACT
  • Participants: United Kingdom (Coordinator), Ireland
  • Project N°: 643998
  • Total costs: € 670 500
  • EU contribution: € 670 500
  • Duration: January 2015 to December 2018

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