FREECATS - Critical raw materials-FREE CATalystS

The objective of the FREECATS Network of Infrastructures (NoI) is to setup a network of knowledge and infrastructures able to provide the state-of-the-art service with the scope of supporting large and small medium enterprises (LEs and SMEs) in the development of critical raw materials-free* catalysts to be employed in different fields of industry, such as chemical industry, energy, mobility, as well as environmental applications. (*the term “CRMs free” should be intended as: CRMs-free, with lower (i.e £ 0.5 wt. % for PGMs) content of CRMs than usual or/and made of recycled CRMs). The two key strengths of FREECATS are: a unique CRMs-free catalysts development service, mixing modelling + development + test + design + education/training in a single NoI), and the ability to impact different markets.

For instance, the substitution of traditional catalysts, based on CRMs (mainly Chromium, rare eraths (REEs) and Platinum group metals (PGMs)) in fuel cells and electrolizers can increase security, independence, and economics of the fuel cell hydrogen (FCH) mobility market. The same applies to pollution control (e.g. volatile organic compounds(VOCs) abatement catalysts), and also to some niche markets such as catalysts for industrial chemistry, fine chemicals /commodities synthesis, elastomeric and thermoplastic polymers synthesis where only small amount of catalysts are used but with high revenues.

The primary target audience can be identified in LEs and SMEs producing catalysts (as BASF from EIT RM and Arkema, which in some applications produces its own catalysts) and, as secondary target, companies developing products/processes based on catalysts and catalytic processes (as Arkema and Pirelli from EIT RM). General examples are companies producing catalysts; Fuel Cells/Electrolysers; Pollutants/Emission control/abatement systems; Hydrogen/(bio)fuels; Commodities/bulk/fine chemicals/Pharma/polymers. Some expression of interest (EoIs) were already collected from Advanced Catalysts Srl, R2 srl, Solvay (IT) as possible task partners.

The project started in January 2016 and will last 3 years. The project partners are:
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, CSIC (Spanish National Research Council),
Alma mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (linked third party of core member ASTER),
Catalysis, Processes and Renewables, Arkema France,
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (linked third party of core member ASTER), project coordinator
Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali ed Ingegneria Chimica, Politecnico di Milano, and
Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu.

Prof. Riitta Keiski, riitta.keiski(at)oulu.fi, 040 726 3018 or
D.Sc.(Tech.) Satu Pitkäaho, satu.pitkaaho(at)oulu.fi, 040 359 3434





Last updated: 21.2.2020