Details

Description of the organisation

The Politecnico di Torino (POLITO) was founded in 1857, and it has 30000 students, 700 Ph.D. students and more than 3000 employees.

The group of “Catalytic Reaction Engineering for Sustainable Technologies” (CREST) at Politecnico di Torino, Department of Applied Science and Technology, includes 7 academic members and 20 contract researchers (including 12 PhDs) having different and complementary expertise (chemical and biochemical engineering, industrial chemistry, catalyst science, materials science). The CREST group is active in the fields of chemical reaction engineering, membrane separations, biochemical engineering and environmental catalysis, cooperating with several Italian and European companies and Universities. The main research activities of the group are in the field of environmental catalysis: catalytic treatment of Diesel exhaust gases; catalytic filters for flue gas cleaning; catalytic combustion of methane; catalytic membrane reactors; electro-catalytic processes; recovery of valuable chemical from waste waters via electro-membrane processes; short-contact time reactors for syngas production; water photolysis.

In the specific field of reforming and fuel cell-related processes the group is/has been a partner of the following EU research projects (5th/6th EU Framework Programmes): PROFUEL (On-board gasoline PROcessor for FUEL-cell vehicle application); MINIREF (MINIatuRisEd gasoline Fuel processor for fuel cell vehicle applications); BIOFEAT (Biodiesel Fuel Processor for a Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit for a Vehicle); HyTRAN (Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies for Road Transport), MOREPOWER (Direct (m)ethanol fuel cell for portable applications); MC-WAP (Molten carbonate fuel cells for waterborne applications); FlameSOFC (Fuel Flexible, Air-regulated, Modular and Electrically Integrated SOFC-System), and several projects on the artificial photosynthesis and CO2 converions scientific arena (see later) .

Moreover, a good expertise on biogas reforming was obtained in the Italian project BioH2Power - from waste to renewable gaseous fuel for current and future vehicles coordinated by the Bio-ROBUR coordinator.

POLITO is the coordinator of the ongoing FCH-JU project BioROBUR (Biogas robust processing with combined catalytic reformer and trap) which, in line with the call topic, stands at the baseline of the current BioROBURplus project.

Staff members

  • Prof. Debora Fino, PhD (female) got her PhD in chemical engineering at Politecnico di Torino in 2003 with a Dissertation on “Diesel particulate abatement via catalytic traps”, which was worth the 2004 Italgas Prize – Debut in Research. She is now Full Professor in Chemical Plant Design and Waste, Water and Food Manager of Politecnico di Torino. Author of about 170 papers on chemical reaction engineering, separation processes and multifunctional reactors (Google Scholar h-index: 32 with nearly 340 citations), she has been scientific responsible of several EU projects (TOP-EXPERT, ADDNANO, FlameSOFC, BioROBUR, WASTECOSMART). She has already been the Coordinator of an industrial project (BioH2Power- From Waste to Renewable gaseous fuels) and of the platform project (Ecofood- Environment and Energy sustainability, Waste reduction, By-products reuse of the food chain) funded by Regione Piemonte. She is the coordinator of the precursor FCH-JU project BioROBUR based on whose know how the BioROBURplus project was generated. Moreover, she has been the scientific responsible of the ENI industrial funded project on critical analysis of present situation and future perspectives for energy production in Piedmont from organic fraction of MSW, agricultural waste, industrial waste water, sewage sludge, livestock effluents and energy crops. Prof. Debora Fino is leader of Waste Minimization and Environment Protection of the CREST group.
  • Prof. Samir Bensaid (male) achieved his Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2006 at Politecnico di Torino (Italy), after having completed his studies at Strathclyde University of Glasgow (UK) and Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) at Saclay-Paris (France). He got his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2010 at Politecnico di Torino, where he is now Associate Professor of Industrial Chemistry. His research activity concerns the field of catalysis and reaction engineering, and specifically the mathematical modeling of chemical reactors applied to heterogeneous systems, as testified by more than 50 publications in international ISI journals from 2009 up to now (h-index 13). He is coordinator of a 3-year project (2013-2016) for Young Researchers (FIRB2012), funded by the Italian Ministry of University, Research and Education (MIUR). Prof. Samir Bensaid is leader of Biorefinery Processes of the CREST group.
  • Prof. Nunzio Russo (male) graduated cum laude in Chemistry at University of Torino and got his PhD in Materials Science and Technology at Politecnico di Torino where he is currently Full Professor in Industrial and Technological Chemistry. He is author of more than 125 papers on refereed international journals (h-index:24), whose topics concern the research fields above reported. He is coordinator of ECO2CO2. Prof. Samir Bensaid is leader of Photocatalysis for Enviroment and Energy of the CREST group.
  • Prof. Bernardo Ruggeri (male) Associate Professor in bioengineering, is active in the following research fields: modelling bioreactors and scale-up criteria for large-scale cultivation plants; evaluation of human activities impacts using LCA approach; assessment of process sustainability by ESI and EROI approaches; fuzzy modelling of new bioreactor’s configurations including landfill bioreactor; development of Microbial Fuel Cell devices for scale-up purpose; advanced development of new bioreactors for hydrogen and methane production in anaerobic conditions using organic refuses.

Description of the organisation

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a higher education and research organisation with about 9,500 employees, 25,000 students, and a total annual budget of about 800 million Euros. KIT was established on 01/10/2009 as merger of Universität Karlsruhe (founded in 1825), one of Germany’s leading research universities, and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (founded in 1956), one of the largest research centres in the Helmholtz Association. The Engler-Bunte-Institute (EBI) with its Division of Combustion Technology (EBI-VBT) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is one of the major institutes within the department of Chemical Engineering at the KIT. Research is conducted at EBI-VBT by 2 professors, 4 senior engineers, ca. 20 research engineers and several master students with the support of ca. 15 technical and administrative staff members. The main research areas are aimed at phenomenological, theoretical and applied studies concerning combustion devices or more generally reacting flows. EBI-VBT is very well equipped with all relevant advanced experimental diagnostics, pilot plants, test rigs, in-house developed CFD packages, the necessary computing cluster and has access to several national high performance computing centers.

In the specific field of reforming and fuel cell-related processes KIT is currently co-ordinating the ongoing FCH-JU project, “Integrated High-Temperature Electrolysis and Methanation for Effective Power to Gas Conversion”, HELMETH.

The new head of EBI-VBT, Prof. D. Trimis, brings significant experience in reforming and fuel cell-related processes from the project activities in his previous chair at the Technical University of Freiberg as e.g. major partner in MC-WAP (Molten carbonate fuel cells for waterborne applications); scientific co-ordinator of FlameSOFC (Fuel Flexible, Air-regulated, Modular and Electrically Integrated SOFC-System), major partner of the ongoing FCH-JU project BioROBUR (Biogas robust processing with combined catalytic reformer and trap) which, in line with the call topic, stands at the baseline of the current BioROBURplus project.

Staff members

  • Prof. Dimosthenis Trimis (male) graduated in 1990 from the Technical University of Athens in Mechanical Engineering and received his PhD from the University of Erlangen in 1995 in Chemical Engineering. 2006 he took over as full professor the chair of Gas and Heat Technology at the Technical University of Freiberg. Since 2013 he is full professor for combustion technology and head of the Engler-Bunte-Institute, Division of Combustion Technology at KIT. He has a good experience with European collaborative projects (e.g. scientific co-ordinator of FP6 IP-FlameSOFC, overall co-ordinator of FP7 FlexHEAT, CEREXPRO, HELMETH, scientific responsible of HIMOCAT, BIOFLAM, MC-WAP, FC-DISTRICT, DAPHNE).
  • Prof. Nikolaos Zarzalis (male) graduated 1980 in Mechanical Engineering and received his PhD in 1986 from the Technical University of Karlsruhe. He is since 2001 Prof. for applied combustion technology at EBI-VBT and has 20 years of research experience on gas turbine related combustion and generally reacting flows under high pressure due to his stay in industry (MTU München) in the years 1990-2001.
  • Dr. Peter Habisreuther (male) graduated 1991 in Mechanical Engineering and received his PhD in 2002 from the Technical University of Karlsruhe. He is working since 1991 at EBI-VBT in KIT. After his doctoral thesis he became leader of the theoretical department at EBI-VBT. In BioROBURplus he will assist the theoretical and numerical simulation part of the research work.

Description of the organisation

The ICIMSI Institute at the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI) has interdisciplinary skills and several years of experience in innovative technology transfer to the industrial sector. ICIMSI employs 50 persons of which the scientific staff numbers about 46 researchers. Two laboratories of the institute will be involved in this project.

The Hybrid materials laboratory is actively involved in designing manufacturing and testing polymer and ceramic based composites. The laboratory activities primarily include applied research and teaching in the field of science and technology of materials; research in particular is focused to the development, characterization and study of the relationships between production processes and final characteristics of innovative materials of technological interest, which are studied in the framework of several research projects that the laboratory leads in collaboration with companies and institutions both in Switzerland and abroad.
The HM lab is worldwide well known for its activities in the field of cellular ceramics and ceramic matrix composites.

The thermofluid dynamics laboratory offers an engineering approach to problems of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. Starting from a theoretical in-depth study and by applying advanced techniques of simulation the researchers of the laboratory are able to make thermo-fluid dynamic analyses of components and industrial systems, to assist in their development and to participate proactively in their optimisation.
For realizing optimal design solutions, besides Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), statistical approaches such as Design Of Experiments (DOE) and Multiobjective optimisation are applied. The technical-scientific expertise present in the laboratory make it operative in fields of computational fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and energy applications.

Staff members

  • Prof. ing. Alberto Ortona (male) graduated with the highest score in naval and mechanical engineering at the University of Naples in 1989, after a stage at Aeritalia ( Naples I) on nondestructive evaluation techniques of composite materials in 1992 he was research assistant at the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware in USA. After ten years of R&D in the industry he is now professor at SUPSI and responsible of the Hybrid Materials laboratory at ICIMSI. His research fields are: polymer matrix composites, carbide ceramics and their composites and ceramic foams. For ICIMSI-SUPSI, he has been project manager in national (INVISION, BiPCaNP) and European, FP6 (CEC-made-shoe) and FP7 (CEREXPRO, SMARTEES, THOR, HELM, BIOROBUR) projects. Within the German national project CERPOR, together with the University of Erlangen, he studied long term Si-SiC ceramic foams oxidation. Prof. Ortona has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and 5 patents.
  • Giulio Scocchi (male) holds a Master Degree in Materials Engineering (2004) and a PhD in Nanotechnology (2009) from the University of Trieste (I). After spending a short period at the Technology Transfer Service of AREA Science Park in Trieste, in 2005 he started working at ICIMSI-SUPSI (Manno, CH). As a researcher, he participated in European and Swiss funded projects (APolyNaIRe, GraPoly, BiPCaNP, ARENA, SMARTEES) focused on the development and modelling of advanced composite materials. His main scientific interest resides in the application of multiscale simulation techniques (with particular attention to molecular dynamics) to the investigation of different aspects of materials behaviour.
  • Maurizio Barbato (male) received his degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Rome in 1990. From 1992 to 2000 he worked as researcher at CRS4, a research centre located in Sardinia (IT) at that time leaded by Carlo Rubbia. In those years Mr. Barbato worked on modeling and simulation of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactive flows and premixed combustion. As combustion expert in the year 2000 he was hired by the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing (CSCS) where he worked on modelling and simulation of combustion processes since 2003. In 2004 Mr. Barbato become Lecturer and Researcher at SUPSI, where he continued his research activities focusing on thermo-fluid dynamics studies and application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to research and industrial problems. His research activities are in the field of fluid dynamics, heat exchange, combustion, partially catalytic oxidation and heterogeneous catalysis modeling. Since 2007 Mr. Barbato research activities are also focusing on Concentrated Solar Energy especially on receivers technology development. Mr. Barbato is coordinator of the GREEN KITCHEN IAPP project (in the framework of the FP7 Marie Curie Program.

Description of the organisation

The Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et l'Environnement de Lyon (IRCELYON) belongs to the University of Lyon and to CNRS which is the hub of public research activity in France. IRCELYON is a chemistry laboratory which research is focused on heterogeneous catalysis applied to the field of energy and environmental chemistry. The chemical engineering group of IRCELYON, which is involved this project has developed advanced skills in the combined development of new catalysts and reactors adapted to targeted applications. This integrated approach is carried out by means of mechanistic and kinetic modelling studies using routinely transient techniques, in situ DRIFT spectroscopy and all the main characterization techniques. In addition, the combinatorial and high throughput methodologies are applied for designing new materials and optimising catalytic processes. The group has a longstanding expertise in structured reactors, from monoliths, micro-reactors to membrane systems for catalytic reactions and separations. These reactors are employed for reactions such as methane reforming or partial oxidation, oxidative coupling, syngas chemistry and oxidation reactions. Its knowhow in the field of structured reactors (e.g., micro-structured and monolith type) and ageing/regeneration kinetics was gained mainly through European Integrated projects since more than 15 years.

Staff members

  • Dr. Yves Schuurman (male) is a research director, co-leader of the group ENG and in charge of activities concerning natural gas processing such as dry and steam reforming (reactor design, kinetic studies and modelling) as well as bio-oils derived feed stocks with petrochemical (naphtas) feed-stocks in refining units.
  • Dr. Nolven Guillaume (female) is a permanent researcher, specialized in the development of oxide and metal based catalysts for steam reforming reactions and soots combustion.
  • Cécile Daniel (female) is a research engineer specialized in set-up developments and in situ characterization methods such as microcalorimetry or magnetic techniques to monitor the state of ferromagnetic systems under reforming.
  • Dr. Claude Mirodatos (male), former coordinator of the FP5 programme COMBICAT and of the FP6 IP TOPCOMBI (dedicated to combinatorial development of catalysts for various reactions, among which methane coupling and partial oxidation to methanol) will act as adviser for the project.

Description of the organisation

The Aerosol & Particle Laboratory (APTL) (http://apt.cperi.certh.gr) was established in 1996 as a business unit of the Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute (CPERI) at the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) and it currently employs 30 people. APTL’s objectives are to conduct basic & applied research and to develop new technological products responding to well-acknowledged market needs in the areas of clean transport and clean energy. APTL’s total budget of contracts since 1996 exceeds €25M, their large majority being related with Technologies for Environmental and Energy Applications. APTL has developed novel concepts and reactor designs for solar thermochemical fuels synthesis and energy storage, while it has a 17-year experience in the development of combustion emission control systems.

APTL is organized along four thematic areas:

  • Emission Control technologies for mobile and stationary sources
  • Hydrogen and Clean Energy technologies
  • Sensor and measurement technologies
  • Computer Simulation of aerosol and particulate processes

In the specific field of reforming, natural gas cracking processes, particle filtration devices development and evaluation and fuel cell-related processes, the group has been a partner of the following EU research projects (6th, 7th EU Framework Programmes): “Solar Steam Reforming of Methane Rich Gas for Synthesis Gas Production (SOLREF)”, “Hydrogen from Solar Thermal Energy: High Temperature Solar Chemical Reactor for Co-production of hydrogen and carbon black from natural gas cracking (SOLHYCARB)”, “Innovative Particle Trap System for Future Diesel Combustion Concepts (IPSY)”, “Aerosol Technologies and Hierarchical Assembly/ Manufacturing for Advanced Nano-Structured Porous Materials (ATLANTIS)”, Valorization of carbon dioxide containing industrial streams via non-conventional catalytic systems and solarized processes CARDIOSOL)”, and the FCH-JU projects: “New Method for Superior Integrated Hydrogen Generation System 2+ (Nemesis2+)”, “Development of Auxiliary Power Unit for Recreational yachts (PURE)” and “Biogas robust processing with combined catalytic reformer and trap (BioROBUR)”.

Staff members

  • Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos, PhD (male): Dr. Konstandopoulos has been active since 1985 in the field of Green Mobility and Sustainable Energy researching automotive emission control (Diploma in Mech. Eng., Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece; MSc. Mech. Eng., Michigan Tech Houghton, Michigan, USA) and aerosol and particle technology with applications in clean energy, environment and materials (MSc Chem. Eng., MPhil, PhD, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA) receiving the First Place Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 1991 and the H. P. Becton prize for the best PhD dissertation in the Yale Graduate School in 1992. He is a specialist in nanoparticles and combustion aerosols, with extensive research and engineering consulting experience in the design, modeling and testing of structured reactors for many uses, including emission control for mobile and stationary sources, solar fuel production (renewable hydrogen and carbon-neutral hydrocarbons), and biotechnological applications. In 1996 he established in Thessaloniki, Greece, the Aerosol and Particle Technology Laboratory (APTL), today internationally acclaimed as a center of excellence, as a business unit of the Chemical Process & Energy Resources Institute (CPERI), at the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH). In 2006 he joined the faculty of Chemical Engineering at Aristotle University while from 2006 to 2012 he has served as Director of CPERI and member of the Board of Directors of CERTH. In 2011 he was elected as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of CERTH. Since 2012 he is a member of the Board of Governors of the European Commission's (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC). He has also served in the following EC committees: Energy Program Committee, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)-States Representatives Group and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), Energy Working Group. He has coordinated and managed numerous research projects, funded by the European Commission and leading international industries and he is the author of more than 190 widely cited publications, while his research has been frequently covered by international communication media including the following: Euronews Channel, Financial Times, Die Welt, New Scientist, Chemistry World as well as the domestic press. The Visitor Center of the European Parliament ("The Parlamentarium") selected in 2011 to film a day of his life at APTL and host it permanently at the documentary exhibition "Daily Life", in Brussels, Belgium. His international awards and distinctions include the 2006 European Descartes Prize, the 2010 European Research Council Advanced Grant, the 2006 International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) inaugural Technical Achievement Award, the Global 100 Eco-Tech Prize at the 2005 EXPO in Japan and his elections as a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (class of 2004).
  • George Skevis, PhD (male): is a Mechanical Engineer (BEng, Imperial College London, MS, Stanford University, PhD, Imperial College London). His expertise lies in the area of combustion science and technology and he has significant research and engineering consulting experience in the areas development of detailed and reduced chemical kinetic mechanisms for the combustion of conventional and alternative fuels, the simulation and control of combustion-generated pollutants, the development of advanced methods for the modelling of transport-chemistry interactions in reacting flows, the development of computational methodologies for the themochemical modelling of practical combustion systems including gas turbine combustors, fuel cells and cement kilns, the development and application of analytical and laser diagnostic techniques for the experimental characterization of combustion systems and the energetic and environmental assessment of industrial processes. He is the author of more than 70 publications in archive journals and international conference proceedings and his work is highly cited and used by many academic and industrial research groups. He is a regular invited speaker in conferences worldwide and he is a regular reviewer for scientific journals in energy-related fields.
  • Nickolas Vlachos, PhD (male): Aerospace Engineer (B.Aero. Eng., Univ. of Bristol, U.K., 1994) with specialization in computational aerodynamics (Ph.D., Univ. of Bristol, U.K. 1999). He is an affiliated researcher of APTL since 2001 and currently leads activities related to computational fluid dynamics and computer programming, modeling of aerosol and transport phenomena, flow in porous media, non-destructive materials characterization by tomographic techniques and system level simulation of Diesel emission control systems and alternative powertrains. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed publications.
  • Dimitrios Zarvalis (male): is a Chemical Engineer (Dipl. Chem. Eng. Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki, Greece) and possesses a management background (MBA, Keele University, U.K.). He is a tenured Senior Research Engineer since 1998 at APTL and is involved in projects related to the development of emission control systems for mobile and stationary sources, including hybrids, as well as in projects related to the development of new portable Fuel Cell systems. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed publications.
  • Souzana Lorentzou, PhD (female): Chemical Engineer (Dipl. Chem. Eng., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). She holds a PhD (Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki, 2011) in synthesis of redox materials for the solar thermochemical production of hydrogen from water-splitting and of catalytic materials for diesel soot emission control. She is an Affiliate Researcher at APTL and member of the HYDROSOL research team that received the 2006 Descartes Prize. She is part of the Nanoparticles and Catalysts Group and is involved in particle synthesis, deposition, characterization and evaluation of redox and catalytic properties. She is the author of more than 15 peer-reviewed publications.

Description of the organisation

DBI-Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg is a small, non-profit research enterprise. Among various divisions its Gas utilisation Dpartment is involved in the development of the economical use of gas. We conduct engineering, research, and development work in the following sectors:

  • Industrial and domestic gas applications
  • Innovative energy technologies and decentralized energy supply and control
  • Increased energy efficiency of gas applications
  • Utilization of renewable energy and,
  • Further professional training in the rapidly developing gas economy

The energy laboratory is used to test prototypes in the areas of:

  • gas utilization,
  • gas allocation, and
  • equipment using solid and liquid fuels

In the 1990s, the Freiberg and Leipzig DBI-Gas Appliance and Burner test centers applied for, and were granted the status of DVGW test center. The success in achieving this accreditation is based on many years of experience as the ASMW (Office for Standardization, Metrology, and Product testing) test centre in the GDR. After much of the equipment from the old test facility was upgraded, testing began on gas technology equipment and components, as well as testing of solid and liquid fuel. The testing was concentrated in Leipzig at the beginning of 2000, however, most of the work is now carried out at the Freiberg location of the DBI-Gas Technology Institute.

Staff members

  • Udo Lubenau MSc (male) completed his studies of Chemistry in the field of applied chemistry at the University of Leipzig. Since 1990 he works at the DBI-Group in the field of gas analysis and gas treatment. Since 2008 he acts as head of laboratory and for 8 years he has been technically and scientifically responsible for membrane projects regarding gas treatment. He has already been coordinator of the membrane projects MEMTEG (gas drying with molsieve membranes) and SICATEC (ceramic membranes for the LPG-separation). He was scientifically involved in EU Projects such as RECOPOL and Naturalhy. He is responsible for several industrial projects with international companies (Statoil, EMPG, Wintershall) with an emphasis on gas quality and gas cleaning. Recently, other components of laboratory research at DBI were CCS (project COORAL) and the field of biomass – renewable gaseous fuels.
  • Dr. Andreas Ossmann (male) finished his studies in Chemistry in 2003 and got his PhD in 2007 at the University of Leipzig. Since 2008, he is project manager at the DBI. Mayor responsibilities are gas separation with inorganic membranes, desulfurization of natural gas for fuel cell applications, corrosion phenomena of copper surfaces and LNG.
  • Dr. Jörg Nitzsche (male) completed his studies of energy process technologies in December 2002 at the Technical University of Freiberg. Subsequently he worked as a scientific assistant at the university. In 2010, he gained the grade of doctor of engineer sciences. Subject of his concerning work was hydrogen production by steam reforming for fuel cells. Since 2009, he works at the DBI group. He is leader of the working group “Gas Processing Technology”. Main foci of his recent works are catalyst investigation, development of innovative gas-related processes and technologies and especially hydrogen production, storage and use in fuel cells.

Description of the organisation

EngiCer SA is about cellular ceramics and their engineering, specialized in foams and lattices. Since the first silicon-infiltrated silicon carbide foam was produced in 1998, we focus on the development of application specific products to satisfy every specific operating condition. We recognize that every application operates at different conditions and that every end-user has its own definition of performance and lifespan, and we deliver products tailored to the specific needs. Example of final products are foams for porous burners, catalyst supports, thermal reformers for fuel cell systems, sandwich core for thermal protection systems, volumetric solar absorbers, and some more.

EngiCer SA is a spin-off of Erbicol SA formed in 2013 as a result of a continuous growth in the sector. Despite the company is rather young, its technology, experience and people are based on an almost 20 years history. After a short period in PTC SA from 1996 to 1998, the Porous Ceramics Department was integrated in Erbicol SA, a family business founded in 1950 specialized in the machining of extra-hard materials. The main focus at the time was the development of silicon-infiltrated silicon carbide foams for porous burners able to withstand at least 20’000 hours at 1350°C, a goal that has been achieved beginning of 2000. Differentiation of product portfolio and development of new application were the main goals starting from there, and still are part of the strategy. In 2013, the spin-off EngiCer SA was created. The new company takes over all the activities of the Porous Ceramics Department, all the knowledge and experience, with one main goal: take the foam product to the next level, delivering innovative engineered cellular ceramic solutions.

The added value of our product/service is the ability to develop, engineer and realize custom cellular structures, through a process that starts with the collection of application data, goes through simulation, design, prototyping, and experimental validation, and finished with the optimal product for a specific application. We believe that foams are great products, but we understand that it’s a semi-engineered product. Their randomness is an advantage as well as a disadvantage. A regular structure, specifically designed for the applications, allows in most cases a higher performance.

Our value chain usually starts with a consulting service and ends with a product in small series. We meet with customers, understand their requirements and collect data from their application, in order to be able to simulate a realistic condition while changing the morphological data of the ceramic. Through an iterative process, experience and design of experiment, we conclude on the best performing morphology of the structure.

We then realize the structure template through 3D-printing and convert to ceramic through the standard replica technique. With the prototypes in hand, we validate simulated data and perform real conditions test. If validated, the process moves to industrialization, assessing trade-offs that allow mass-production. For lattices, this can go through the “development” of a plastic polymer that can be manufactured through injection molding or similar techniques, in order to have the same production line (foams vs. engineered lattice structure) as for foams but just starting with a substitute of polyurethane, or we move to different production techniques depending on the developed structure.

EngiCer has steadily developed in the field of research and applied research, not only through private contract research, but also through publicly funded projects. Currently Erbicol, the mother company, is involved in five research initiatives sponsored by the European Commission (Thor, Biorobur, Sol2Hy2 and Helm). Thanks to the developed network of research partners, universities and institutes, EngiCer gathered product as well as process specific knowledge.

Staff members

  • Sandro Gianella (male): Sandro got his BSc in Chemistry at ETH Zürich in 2007 and later concluded an MBA at Swiss Business School in early 2013. He Joined Erbicol SA in 2007 and took care of the creation of the Porous Ceramics Department. During the following years, he expanded product portfolio and market and also increased the company’s innovation activity, by participating in European research and development activities, through contract research or by internal financing. In 2013 he lead the company spin-off process that resulted in the creation of EngiCer SA end of 2013. Working close to both industrial and academic fields, he is author and co-author of about 15 peer reviewed publications as well as many conferences. Today he is CEO of EngiCer SA, board member as well as co-owner, and he still retains a position in Erbicol SA until the fulfilment of the current European research projects.
  • Engineer (new hire):A new hire is foreseen for the present research project. It will be a material engineer with at minimum an MSc degree and previous experience in ceramic manufacturing.
  • Cristiano Arcioni (male): Cristiano is a specialized ceramic technician that supports the engineer during the prototyping activities and takes care of upscaling the prototyping to a full-scale sample. He has 15 years’ experience in the manufacturing of open cellular ceramic structures, both for oxide and non-oxide ceramics.

Description of the organisation

Hysytech srl is a Chemical Engineering Company established on 2003, in Torino, Italy. Today it is a pioneer company in the field of process engineering and, in particular, in the design and construction of turn-key plants for fuel chemical processing, energy production and environmental treatment. Hysytech srl provides specialized engineering solutions and services on chemical processing, energy, power generation and environmental treatment. Hysytech is always looking to develop and provide new technology to clients on short and medium-term opportunities through continuous work and challenging development. Since its inception in 2003, the company has based its business model on innovation and expertise in finding innovative solutions for chemical processing and energy generation. The proposed project is a natural continuation of the experience and capability of Hysytech.

Hysytech has 4 different business areas in order of revenues share:

  1. Construction of turn-key industrial plants (EPC and EPCM)
  2. Applied R&D
  3. Consultancy (technical and financial)
  4. Maintenance

Hysytech’s experience and technological background covers several fields: from process synthesis to industrial catalysis, from process optimization for renewable energy production to environmental treatment. Thanks to several years experience of its engineers as European researchers, Hysytech srl sets its activity on technological transfer from university to industries, producing day by day R&D for industrial customers and research centers.

Its main activities refer to chemical engineering, above all chemical plants, industrial catalysis, and energy production/transformation, with a special focus on hydrogen production from hydrocarbons, fuel cell systems and production/use of renewable energies such as biofuels (bioethanol, biomasses and biodiesel), wind and photovoltaic energy. In the hydrogen field, Hysytech srl is specialized in fuel processing (of natural gas, LPG, gasoline and biodiesel) and realization of test benches, for low, medium and high temperature fuel cells (PEM, DMFC, AFC, MCFC and SOFC).

In order to be able to offer specialised service, Hysytech makes a continuous effort to increase the proprietary know-how and technical expertise. Almost 30% of the revenues are invested every year in internal technology developments. After more than ten years passed pursuing the reinvestment strategy there are some success cases (in term of return of investment) to be mentioned. The first relevant investment was related to proprietary fuel processing technology for fuel cells, covered by 3 PCT patents. The technology was licensed to two customers and today HST is in the early stage of industrial production (1000 unit/year capacity). In the field of reforming and fuel cell-related processes Hysytech srl supplied the group CRE3 (Politecnico di Torino) prototypes in some EU research projects: PROFUEL (On-board gasoline PROcessor for FUEL-cell vehicle application); MINIREF (MINIatuRisEd gasoline Fuel processor for fuel cell vehicle applications); BIOFEAT (Biodiesel Fuel Processor for a Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit for a Vehicle); FlameSOFC (Fuel Flexible, Air-regulated, Modular and Electrically Integrated SOFC-System); FP7-FCH-JU-2012 – BIOROBUR (Biogas robust processing with combined catalytic reformer and trap).

Another significant technology development was accomplished in 2014 with the installation and operation of a proprietary high efficiency biomethane production plant (first in Italy, with all environmental permits granted) from municipal waste digestion and landfill biogas. The plant is top of the class as far as energy efficiency and product quality specification are concerned.

In the field of electrochemistry the company has developed an electrolysis technology based on polimeric membranes for high pressure operation and is developing a special application of a device applicable to liquid electrolyte electrochemical cells (such as alkaline electrolyser and fuel cells) to increase the conversion efficiency. HST has acquired and developed a PCT/European Patent on Electrochemical Thermodynamo about high efficiency (low capital and low operative cost) electrodes for water electrolysis to produce hydrogen gas;

HST is member of the FCH JTI NEW-IG. The company produces and sells hydrogen production systems based on patents as WO Patent WO/2005/117,176 by Antonini et al.; PCT/EP2004/051207 by Antonini et al., etc.

Moreover the company has been partner in several EU research projects, two of them are focused on photo-electrochemical cells (SOLHYDROMICS, ARTIPHYCTION). HST's duty was the the design and manufacturing of first of a kind prototypes, with the target of taking out from the lab the technology to put it in real application environment.

Another field of own development is the pyrolysis and gasification of industrial wastes. HST's gasification technology aims at small scale plants with economic sustainability through conscious design of a robust industrial product, able to overcome the defects of the state of the art technologies.

Each staff member own specific professional skills built-up from direct experience on the field which makes HST a polyvalent and flexible resource. HST’s strength lies on the capability of developing non “off-the-shelf” solutions for the customer’s demanding needs. Hysytech srl plays a strategic role for companies on the manufacturing and services business by bringing them a dynamic working resource to meet and develop the world’s newest technologies.

Hysytech srl is a core technology developer for reformers, fuel cells and BOP components, service supplier in research, engineering, production and stationary&dynamic application level; supplier of components, chemical reactors, pilot plants and bench test.

Relevant patents owned by HST:

  • PCT/IT2005/000297 C.Riccardi,, M.Antonini, P.Fracas, (2005) Methode for making component for fuel cells;
  • PCT/WO2004/113590 A2, M.Melosi (2004) Electrochemical thermodynamo;
  • PCT/IT2009/000600, Antonini M., Saldivia A., Saracco G., Farina C., Solaro S., Mori M., Anastasi M. (2009) Endothermic reaction unit and steam reforming device comprising this reaction unit.;
  • PCT/IT2009/000601Antonini M., Saldivia A., Saracco G., Farina C., Solaro S., Mori M., Anastasi M.. (2009) Method and device for preparing a homogeneous gaseous mixture from a flow of gas and from a flow of liquid.;
  • PCT/IT2009/000599, Antonini M., Saldivia A., Saracco G., Farina C., Solaro S., Mori M., Anastasi M. (2009) Burner and combustion device comprising said burner.
Staff members
  • Massimiliano Antonini (male): graduated in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino where he is currently a consultant. He is CEO/President and co-founder of Hysytech srl since 2003. He is author of a European patent (2004) on a method to build PEM fuel cells components via plasma treatment and co-author of three
    PCT patents on hydrocarbons reforming and fuel processing. He has been scientific involved in several EU projects (SYLOC-DEXA, BIOFEAT, PROFUEL, HyTRAN, MOREPOWER; FLEXHEAT, ATLANTIS, MC-WAP, PEMTOOL, FLAMESOFC, SOLHYDROMICS, ARTIPHYCTION, BIOROBUR).
  • Andres Saldivia (male): graduated in Chemical Engineering at Universidad Central de Venezuela and at Politecnico di Torino (double degree). He was assistant professor (ad-honorem) of Mass transfer phenomena and Thermodynamics for chemical engineers at Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has been scientific involved in several EU projects (MC-WAP, PEMTOOL, FLAMESOFC, SOLHYDROMICS, ARTIPHYCTION, BIOROBUR).
  • Simone Solaro (male): graduated in Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino where he has been consultant in chemical process engineering and lab test management for 7 years. He is an active partner of Hysytech srl since 2004, leading engineering purchase department and is co-author of three PCT patent pending on hydrocarbons reforming and fuel processing. He has been scientific and administrative involved in several EU projects (ART-DEXA, CATATRAP, BIOFEAT, PROFUEL, HyTRAN, MOREPOWER; FLEXHEAT, MC-WAP, PEMTOOL; FLAMESOFC, SOLHYDROMICS, ARTIPHYCTION, BIOROBUR).

Description of the organisation

Founded in 2007 MET is the company which activities are mainly targeted to fill the gap between research and large-scale industry. The main aim of the company is to develop components, devices and equipment for energy applications, electronics and other areas of technological innovations targeting at renewable energy generation (photovoltaic, solar thermal), energy savings (insulation materials), environmental (passive house applications) technologies and transport applications. Main route for the introduction to the market of the new MET products is through identifying needs for technological solutions in business sectors of the priority activities for the company; evaluating and up taking technologies on the level of demonstration of proof of concept or developed on lab scale, developing and demonstration on pilot scale production lines technologies, meeting the requirements for particular products and commercialising developed products by licensing or attracting investments for large scale production. Taking into account focus on pilot production, on the level of capacities building MET activities are targeting at establishing flexible pilot production facilities covering equipment for microelectronic devices design and development, manufacturing of structured catalyst on metal base as well as equipment for sol-gels engineering and production. The Amiagus research group (www.amiagus.com) at MET specialized in the coating of supports with catalysts. The main research activities of the Amiagus group are targeted on developments of cost-effective thermal coating technologies for high adhesion of the coating to metal substrate and developments of structured catalysts on metal base for different applications. In the specific field of reforming and fuel cell-related processes Amiagus has developed the very promising solution where catalytic elements, developed by Amiagus, are used for steam reforming process. This solution leads to huge economy in energy consumption, expenses on exploitation and equipment revamping also increase inoverall productivity. For reformer tube manufacturers these features give opportunity to construct more efficient tubes and use more types of less expensive materials. The high expertise of the Amiagus group is also confirmed by participation in the FP projects (FP7: MONACAT – Monolithic reactors structured at the nano and micro levels for catalytic water purification; FP6: BIGPOWER – Advanced Biomass Gasification for High Efficiency Power, EXOCAT: Novel Catalyst Converter for Treatment of Engine Exhaust Gases and BURNERCAT – Catalytic, environmental-friendly, fuel flexible and cost effective burner for domestic boiler).

Moreover MET-Amiagus improved the experience in deposition of catalyst on new type support like SiSiC in ongoing FCH-JU project BioROBUR (Biogas robust processing with combined catalytic reformer and trap) and the knowledge of these materials will serve in BioROBURplus project.

Staff members

  • Dr. Alexander Khinsky (male) graduated and got his PhD in Material science at Central Scientific Research Institute of Structural Materials “Prometey” St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1989 left to USA to work as senior researcher at Technalum Research Co. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA in the field of development of microcrystalline catalytic materials, technology and equipment for automotive and marine applications. From 2000 he works in Lithuania as a head of Amiagus research group leading developments of new catalyst materials, technology and equipment, also he was involved in all FP projects where Amiagus took part. Author of about 45 papers in related area and patent on Catalytic coating production method (WO2008063038 (A1)-2008-05-29).
  • Dr. Kristina Klemkaitė-Ramanauskė (female) graduated and got her PhD in Chemistry at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Currently involved in MET-Amiagus research works in FCH-JU project BioROBUR. She was scientific and administrative involved in several EU projects (BURNERCAT, EXOCAT, BIGPOWER, MONACAT).
  • Nerijus Laurinaitis (male) started his work from 2002 as a engineer in Amiagus departmenrt in technological field, now involved in FCH-JU project BioROBUR. He was scientific involved in several EU projects (BURNERCAT, EXOCAT, BIGPOWER, MONACAT).

Description of the organisation

ACEA Pinerolese Industriale S.p.A. (http://www.aceapinerolese.it/societa/profilo/) is a modern Italian multi-utility company, which provides services for Municipalities, private companies and citizens. It finds his origin in 1856 and serves at the present time a user base of over 150.000 inhabitants for waste collection, 200.000 inhabitants for clean water distribution and waste water management, and 800.000 inhabitants for biowaste treatment. ACEA works to ensure sustainable development in environment, water and energy. The Pinerolo Ecological district manages 50000 tons/year of urban biowastes to yield biogas and compost. Since 2007 Acea has cooperated with Universities and research centre fro several research projects at a national level (biochemenergy.it; Biomethair.it, GEERN NG project research on biomethane), the general purposes of this collaboration are to enhance the yield of our process as well as to evaluate new materials or energy services for the market.

ACEA will involve Environment Park Torino (Company in Torino) as its Linked Third Party, on the basis of the “Accordo Quadro di Cooperazione tra ACEA ed Environment Park Torino” (General Agreement of Collaboration between ACEA ed Environment Park Torino) signed on April 28st, 2014. This general agreement has the aims of research collaborations in the topics of biomethane and biohydrogen production technologies, energy production from RES, on green chemicals extraction from biomass and biological processes optimization. Thanks to this involvement, ACEA will ensure to the Consortium (and the project) a very detailed analysis of biogas production processes stabilization. In addition, the produced biogas will be very well monitored with the result of improvement in clean-up system performance (WP5 Task 5.7). Environment Park in fact already has a very high experience on biogas contaminants, and especially a very peculiar equipment required comparing the different biogas production condition in relation to produced biogas quality at pilot scale. Beside this, thanks to the previous experience on direct bio-hydrogen production via dark anaerobic fermentation of biomass, on which Envipark has performed a lot of different test on a wide category of biomass at pilot scale, the linked third party will be able to provide data useful for the WP6 task 6.3. In fact in the definition of benchmark system/alternative concept configurations & implementation contexts that will be analyzed by HST in cooperation with ACEA, can benefit from demonstrative scale data that will help the comparison with competitive technologies and systems for renewable hydrogen production (electrolysis direct bio-hydrogen production via dark anaerobic fermentation and power-to-gas concepts). Data about