MULTI-site organic-inorganic HYbrid CATalysts for MULTI-step chemical process


The MULTI2HYCAT solutions will bring relevant impacts and benefits at different levels, the main ones being:

Innovation and Advance of Knowledge: the novel hybrid nanomaterials are the result of the combination of breakthrough innovations in multisite catalyst design, computational modelling, overall process intensification and optimisation, through the concerted collaboration among top players of the EU scientific community and industry with a sound multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial approach. Important advancements will be achieved in extremely important knowledge areas related to: materials science (e.g. hybrid organic-inorganic materials, catalysts, etc.); physico-chemistry, theoretical and computational studies; organic and inorganic synthesis; characterisation analyses; heterogeneous catalysis; combined reaction processes; techno-economic analysis of industrial process with particular focus on combined effects at different levels (process intensification and optimisation); market-monitoring and integrated-process analysis. The innovations and advance of knowledge brought by the project can be also used for future applications in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors and beyond.

Global markets & competitiveness: the MULTI2HYCAT project aims at boosting green and sustainable economic growth, which constitutes a key driver for new business, investment and competitiveness in Europe during the next 30 years. According to the EU Commission, sustainable growth might translate into 20Mln new jobs by 2020. Industry already recognises the strong business case for improving resource productivity. It is estimated that resource efficiency improvements all along the value chains could reduce material input needs by 17-24% by 2030 and a better use of resources could represent an overall savings potential of €630 Bln per year for the European industry.

Based on these principles, the smart nanomaterials prepared in this project, as well as the ambitious reactions targeted, will strengthen the competitiveness and growth of EU companies in the new Green Revolution. Most specifically, the project will impact the pharmaceutical and intermediate chemical industries in the whole value chain (e.g., material manufacturers, materials developers, technology providers, plant owners, downstream product transformers). MULTI2HYCAT will offer a platform for delivering innovations from academia to the markets via a coherent strategy led by a multidisciplinary team of prime scientific actors and business experts (see also preliminary business considerations below).

Environment and resource efficiency: MULTI2HYCAT intends to impact the carbon footprint and the eco-toxicity of several current industrial processes where catalysts play a role, including large parts of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, via either a smart redesign or the eco-conception of new processes involving cascade reactions. The resulting process intensification will impact not only the activity and selectivity of the catalytic processes, but also afford a dramatic reduction of solvents and water demand, especially for the separation and purification or intermediates and for cooling/heating units. Solvents (including water) can contribute up to 80% of the mass utilisation and 50% of the energy employed in a process with a world consumption growing at an annual rate of 2.5% until 2019. Furthermore, the design of concerted reactions might afford a significant reduction of salt production as undesired by-products.