PPP Surcharge projects

Via TKI Chemistry several projects receive a PPP Surcharge (PPS Toeslag). Below are brief summaries of the awarded projects per roadmap. The summaries will be updated once a year.

Summary Chemistry of Advanced Materials
Summary Chemistry of Life
Summary Chemical Sensing & Enabling Technologies
Summary Chemical Conversion, Process Technology & Synthesis 

Awarded PPP surcharge projects per month

In 2022 the board of TKI Chemistry awarded the following PPP Surcharge projects (updated every month):

New Insights in the Electroreduction of CO2 to Formate over In/Bi-based Catalysts through In-situ and Operando Spectroscopy and Microscopy: Role of Promotor Element and Binder Material
Utrecht University / Avantium Chemicals BV
In order to combat climate change our society is moving away from fossil resources and increasingly producing and using renewable resources, including green electrons from e.g., solar panels and wind turbines. These green electrons can be used to produce via electrochemical routes fuels (e.g., hydrogen) and chemicals (e.g., ethylene). This research project focuses on the production of another important building block, namely formate, which can be the starting point for the manufacturing of a variety of chemicals and materials. However, this is only possible when the overall formate yields are sufficiently high and when high conversion levels can be maintained for long operational periods. This should become possible when we are capabable to better understand both the reaction and deactivation processes for suitable catalyst materials and having proper means to alter their structure and composition. The project goal is to use a range of powerful and sensitive analytical methods, including vibrational spectroscopy, X-ray spectroscopy and tomography, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, as well as surface science methods.

Understanding new candidate drugs for treatment of ABC transporter-mediated diseases
Utrecht University / Rectify Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Mutations in the protein family of ABC-transporters cause a range of diseases. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the best known one, but also Stargardt disease (STGD1), adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD1), Sitosterolemia (STSL2), PFIC2, and others. These are monogenic inherited diseases, caused by mutations in the ABC-transporter gene. This leads to a defective or absent ABC-transporter protein, and the lives of most Cystic-Fibrosis patients has improved tremendously since they have access to a pill that corrects and enhances their defective ABCtransporter protein. A pill with a typical medicine is much easier to develop than the alternative, gene therapy. The industrial partner is developing a pill that targets a defective ABC-transporter. Whereas medicines can be approved for the patient without understanding how the medicine works, it helps development of therapy for all ABC transporters when the protein and effect of the pill are understood. The aim of this project is to establish a toolset for the first ABC-transporter for which a pill is being developed, and to start characterizing the ABC-transporter protein and the mode of action of the first candidate medicines.

Extending boundaries: Single-particle mass analysis of von Willebrand Factor oligomers by mass photometry and charge detection mass spectrometry
Utrecht University / MS Vision
Our blood contains a wide variety of circulating proteins, mostly quite small. However, one protein in blood is the “von Willebrand Factor” that is present as a dimeric protein of about 0.5 million Da, but also forms readily higher order aggregates ranging in mass to about 20 million Da. In this project we aim to pass the current boundaries in single-particle mass analysis by mass photometry and charge detection mass spectrometry targeting the analysis of the VWF oligomers. If this can be achieved, we aim to subsequently develop new diagnostic tools to monitor (the self-aggregation of) this important blood biomarker.

PTG/e BV / Shell Global Solutions BV
High-temperature heat is key for industrial process and climate change mandates to derive this from emission-free sources such as renewable power from wind and solar PV. The conversion of renewable power to high-temperature heat can be achieved by Joule heating using wide-bandgap semiconductors such as Silicon Carbide. In this project, PTGe in partnership with Shell will study the heat conversion and conductivity as well as the surface modification of SiC synthesized from natural sources that contain unquantified levels of hetero-atoms.

Recycled polypropylene based buckets for food application (“rPP buckets for food”)
Brightlands Materials Center / TNO / Dijkstra Plastics / CHILL / SABIC / Milgro /  Quality Circular Polymers
This project relates to the increasing demand for using recycled content in packaging products and more specifically in buckets used for food applications (e.g. sauces and salads). A working closed loop demonstrator will be established, where post-consumer recycled polypropylene is being used as raw material for the production of new buckets for food contact applications. Within this project knowledge will be generated on the following topics: 1) quality development of recycled material including the microplastic formation during multiple closed loops of production and recycling, use and mechanical recycling of buckets used for food applications. 2) influence of organic food remains on the recyclate properties 3) cleaning process to remove organic food remains 4) possibilities to reach the required recyclate quality (both regarding mechanical properties as well as food safety), additivation and/or decontamination technologies and mitigation of microplastics formation upon recycling 5) EFSA authorization process and hurdles to overcome for obtaining food safety approval. In order to fulfil the requirements for food safety, the used polypropylene buckets and related materials within this project will be kept in a closed loop. As it is generally accepted that upon mechanical recycling the quality of the materials will deteriorate, upgrading and readjustment of the recyclate properties will be investigated. The information achieved regarding the decrease of the recyclate quality during the subsequent recycling cycles will serve as input for the development of a life cycle recyclate quality assessment model.

Modelling and experimental validation of HTW bubbling fluidized bed gasification
TU Delft / G.I Dynamics
Aim of the gasification process is to generate a syngas which, after cleanup and upgrading, will be suitable for fossil-free methanol production. The goal of this project is to arrive at a simple transient one-dimensional model for the gasifier at GIDARA Energy, with the ability to predict the residence time distribution of gas/solids, the (axial) temperature distribution, and the chemical conversion and selectivity to various products. Focus lies on a research-scale bubbling fluidized bed gasifier operating with solid waste feedstock, e.g. sewage, wood, household and industrial types of solid waste. To arrive at such a model, the output of more detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics models (without reactions) will be analysed and reduced to simpler equations, after which chemical reactions will be added. Cold flow experiments using a downscaled version of the gasifier will be performed at TU Delft for model validation. Validation gasification measurements at the gasifier will be performed, targeting closure of mass- and energy balances and to obtain more insight in the conversion process of the challenging circular carbon feedstock for further scale-up. These include measurement of main gaseous and solid carbon species, but also online alkali species measurement and carbon-in-ash measurements.

Plasma assisted capture and conversion of CO2 to useful chemical products (PLACHEM)
Eindhoven University / CASALE SA
The PLACHEM project aims at developing and demonstrating a novel, direct, integrated air capture and conversion process for the conversion of atmospheric CO2 into high value chemicals in one step without sorbent regeneration. The proposed activities in this project include i) development of high capacity sorbent and 3D structure material tailored for plasma environment; ii) investigation of plasma-induced one step desorption and conversion of CO2 by testing the plasma-sorbent system; iii) modelling and system design for the developed process to be tested in the intended environment as well as strategic plans for further scale-up or implementation; iv) evaluation of the process and further exploitation for business case development and commercialization. The project will be carried out by 2 PhD students working at Eindhoven University of Technology, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry department, with support by CASALE.

Iron fuel: a clean and circular energy carrier (MEC II)
Eindhoven University / Shell Global Solutions Int. BV
The goal of the MEC-II project is to use metal powder as a dense energy carrier for a demonstrably circular and renewable zero-carbon energy storage and conversion system. The TU/e carries out the fundamental and industrial research necessary to boost the required technological developments for the utilization of metal powder, supported by the industrial partner Shell. The breakthrough of the metal energy carriers concept provides a circular, storable, zero-emission, highly efficient, and low-cost pathway to employ widely available metals like iron for heat and power generation. The key element of the MEC-II project is a more rapid progression to TRL level 5-6. To achieve this the reduction chain of the overall process needs to improve. As a result, the TU/e places itself in a good position for further participation in the growing demand for iron ore reduction using renewable methods (i.e. hydrogen). We are acquiring direct reduced iron (DRI) expertise and expect to leverage the acquired skills, experimental assets, and knowledge in further contacts with Tata Steel, Arcelor Mittal etc. This effort is not confined to solving the storage requirement for intermittency in renewables and retrofittable novel zero carbon fuels. It will also enable us as the TU/e to contribute and compete in other heat intensive industrial areas on the cusp of integrating renewables i.e. the steel industry.

No longer ‘too hot to handle’: microscopy of heat-loving microorganisms
Leiden University / Confocal.nl
In this project Leiden University and microscopy company Confocal.nl collaborate to visualize and study archaeal organisms at high temperatures at high spatial and temporal resolution. This permits fundamental studies of the cell biology of such organisms under physiological conditions, aiding in establishing them as model organisms and industrial production vehicles. Furthermore, the established approach extends to application of super-resolution rescan confocal microscopy to other biological and non-biological systems (e.g. in materials science) that require high temperatures.

Densification of polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for high NaCl retentions
Twente University / NX Filtration B.V.
With the increasing world-wide water scarcity, it becomes increasingly important to obtain clean water from alternative sources, including brackish water. To do that in an efficient process, we propose to develop a new generation of hollow fiber based membranes based on ultrathin coatings of charged polymers. These advanced coatings can be build up in a layer-by-layer fashion, allowing a great deal of control over their material properties and therefore their eventual separation performance. By increasing the density of these coatings, we will improve the retention of ions, such as Na+ and Cl-, allowing their effective removal to produce clean desalinated water. To achieve this, researchers from the university of Twente will closely collaborate with membrane company NX Filtration.

Electrochemical valorization of biobased chemical building blocks
Utrecht University / TNO / Relement
Utrecht University, Relement and TNO will conduct fundamental research into new, clean ways to convert chemical building blocks obtained from biomass into a palette of valuables connections. Through a combination of biorefinery and further chemical conversions, the sugar fraction can be green building blocks for the chemical industry are made from non-edible biomass, compounds that can be used in plastics, coatings and other applications. One of the last synthesis steps suffices not yet meet the requirements of green and sustainable chemistry. We are looking for an alternative to this step. This alternative technology can then in principle be applied to a whole range of building blocks.

Pre-study flake cleanliness in plastic recycling
Nationaal Testcentrum Circulaire Plastics (NTCP) / Danone Nutricia Research
One of the major challenges in mechanical plastic recycling is to achieve a sufficiently high quality flake material that serves as feedstock to an extruder line to produce pellets that can be used by convertors. An area where this is of utmost importance is plastic packaging for food products, not only for product quality but also for food safety. Danone (one of the leading European food companies) and NTCP (the unique test and research centre around circular plastics) team up to take the measurement of flake quality a step further to eventually enable dedicated washing processes for specific plastics. The project will focus on selecting and developing easily accessible methods to determine the quality and especially cleanliness of plastic flakes. If these methods are easily accessible, one can adjust process parameters to reach the required output quality.

The CO2WA program: the development of new technology for water electrolysis and the capture, compression and conversion of CO2
Delft University / HyET Electrolysis B.V. / HyET NoCarbon B.V.
For the upcoming energy transition, water electrolysis and the capture and conversion of CO2 are essential technologies to produce fossil-free feedstock and fuels. These technologies need to be developed with the utmost reduction in cost at the maximum efficiency and durability possible. This program will explore this goal from various angles in the following exploratory workpackages in close collaboration with HYET. WP1. We develop an electrochemical approach to capture CO2 from air using pH swings. In addition, we will explore the electrochemical compression of the captured CO2. WP2. We develop a low temperature electrochemical CO2 conversion system for the production of CO at a rate of 0.5 kg/day. WP3. We develop novel anionic exchange membranes for water electrolysis with improved chemical stability, ionic conductivity and handling properties. WP4. We will investigate non-trivial ways to improve the water electrolysis process in zero-gap anion exchange configurations using magnetic fields and pulsed potentials.

Nature helps out: Bio-based Additives for Supporting Plastic Recycling in a Modern Circular Economy (Bio-SuPReME)
Groningen University / NHL Stenden / Croda Nederland BV
University of Groningen, NHL Stenden and Croda were already instrumental in initiating many research projects in the field of sustainable polymers and circular plastics. In this project they join forces to study the effects of novel biobased slip additives on the processing and recycling of PET. This will be achieved by simulating each step of the post-consumer closed loop mechanical recycling process. Although plastics have superior properties in many applications, often additives are used to improve these properties. In addition, additives are deployed to optimize process conditions during the production of plastic products. However, with regard to environmental issues, like the plastic soup, micro plastics and other plastic contaminations, not much attention is paid to the impact of additives on the environment. In most cases, additives used in plastic products are more polluting than the plastic itself, which often contains only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen building blocks. Additives, like plasticizers, UV-stabilizers and flame retardants are examples of non-environmental-friendly chemicals. However, some additives result in environmental advantages as they can facilitate recycling of the used plastics and with this promote a future circular economy.

Performance Polymers and Polyolefins DPI 2.0 Call for Research Proposals 2021
Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI)

Benign and Circular by Design – Sustainable Organophosphates
Uva-HIMS and Susphos

Phosphorus is essential for life on Earth and plays a prominent role in modern science and technology, where organophosphorus compounds are of immense importance for their wide-ranging applications in material science, nanotechnology and life sciences. At present, however, the overall industrial processes to produce these phosphorus compounds are unsustainable, energy intensive, and inefficient. Additionally, many organophosphorus chemicals are found in the environment, contributing to ever-growing chemical pollution. In this project, we will develop a computer-aided framework for the design of benign chemicals, making use of state-of-the-art predictive models and innovative experimental assessment techniques for environmentally relevant properties. Simultaneously, we will advance the eco-friendly production of benign organophosphates using waste phosphates as renewable feedstock, which will prevent their constant spillage in the environment. We will implement these innovations into a broader context and develop scalable protocols, which are needed to realize safe and sustainable phosphorus chemistry on a large scale, introducing systematic and targeted molecular design, as well as recycling, clean, and ‘cradle-to-cradle’ technologies as ground-breaking changes in the field to ensure the continued beneficial use of phosphorus, in particular as sustainable flame-retardant additives for textiles.