The PROMECA project’s strategic objective is to substantially contribute to the increase of knowledge, skills, and competitiveness in the European research area and industry, through the design and deployment of a thorough plan of research and secondment of researchers between top-level academia and industrial partners, thus advancing the knowledge on membrane reactors for process intensification in hydrogen production and relevant applications in a multidisciplinary way, thus contributing to the main European Policies on innovation (e.g. Europe 2020 and Innovation Union flagship initiative).
The project is fully in line with the MSCA-RISE general objectives, as it will:
- Support career development and training of 44 researchers – with a focus on innovation skills –through international and inter-sectoral mobility among 3 academia and 3 industrial partners in 4 European countries;
- Promote sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to the market (and vice versa) in a systematic way, as well as maintain a shared culture of research and innovation, through the participation of researchers in 3 focused research groups where scientific and industrial mix of competences are ensured, and the organization of 8 project meetings, where research findings will be assessed and validated among research groups.
- Carry out a thorough training of researchers through a series of 6 dedicated workshops, each with a different focus, from modeling to material research to industrial research, also adding key entrepreneurial skills, with themes such as technology transfer, exploitation of research results, IPR rules and management, among others.
The project will be structured in 4 main phases.
Phase 1 – Competence analysis
This phase will be carried out by the consortium at the very beginning, as it is necessary to define the TOK programme and the research set-up of the project, as well as the training needs and a relevant plan.
Phase 2 – Energy analysis and Modelling:
The goal of this phase is to lay the foundations of the subsequent work by comparing the energy efficiency of the new system based on membrane reactors to benchmark technologies. The results of this analysis will define the operating conditions of the new catalysts, membranes, and reactors. It will be led by KT (a leading company in technology integration, plant design, simulation, analysis, and realization) and supervised by TUE (European excellence in research on integrated membrane reactors), to ensure a proper mix of scientific and industrial approaches, and mainly developed by Group 3.
Phase 3 – Development of reactor components:
This phase will include the work in parallel of Group II on membranes, led by TECNALIA (the leader in membrane development for industrial reactors) and supervised by AL, bringing its long standing knowledge on membranes in several industrial applications (gas, water, etc.); and Group III on catalysts, led by UNISA (experts in heterogeneous catalysis, development, and testing of advanced catalysts for industrial processes) and ICI (a company bringing expertise on medium and small-scale industrial reactors for hydrogen production).
Phase 4 – Integration, test and validation:
This phase will be the final phase of the project, in which all the models, materials, and components will be integrated in the final PROMECA reactor prototype (capacity 1 Nm3/h of pure hydrogen), that will be designed, constructed, and tested.