New generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels for industrial applications: from the lab to pilot scale production
Successfully completed project NanoHybrids
Customer: Project funded by the European Commission H2020 research and innovation programme.
The main objective of the project was the development of the pilot-scale production system for the new generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels with multiple functions for application in gas and humidity adsorption, personal care and food. The focus was on rapid manufacturing in the form of spherical particles in order to reduce process time and overall process costs. The goal was to insure the high porosity and internal pore size distribution of the particles in order to provide the high surface area, pore volume and defined pore size needed for good adsorption capability. The production of organic aerogel particles in sufficient quantities will provide the opportunity to build prototypes for applications in gas and humidity adsorption and food and to carry out the corresponding tests. Based on the test results, the properties of aerogels were fine-tuned for the corresponding real applications in industrial environments. By this means it was intended to increase the technology readiness level of organic aerogels production from TLR 4 to TLR 6 by the end of the project.
Tutech was responsible for the dissemination and exploitation of the NanoHybrids project results.
In cooperation with well-known industrial partners, the European research project NanoHybrids has successfully developed production systems for organic aerogel particles and manufactured larger quantities of these novel materials for the first time. This represents an important step towards industrial mass production and application of particulate aerogels by the industrial and research consortium. The success is the culmination of three and a half years of intensive work on particulate aerogels, their manufacturing processes and prototypes for industrial application coordinated by Professor Irina Smirnova of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) with BASF as industrial lead.
It was a great experience to see such a large consortium all working together with a dynamism that I would not have expected from such a diverse group.
Update June 2021: Ralf-Dahrendorf-Preis
For the past two years, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been honouring the outstanding achievements of scientists in European research projects through the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for the European Research Area. The special feature of the prize is that it not only evaluates the research, but also places special emphasis on ensuring that the knowledge gained in research is shared with society and achieves results there. The awarded prize also focused on projects that demonstrate in a special way the added value of European research cooperation for a sovereign, resilient and sustainable Europe.
NanoHybrids was the reason for the award of the 2021 Ralf Dahrendorf Prize for the European Research Area to TUHH, as one of five prizewinners this year and 11 in total, since the prize has now been awarded for only the second time. Significant participation in an EU project was a prerequisite to be eligible for the Ralf Dahrendorf Prize, in this case, the Horizon 2020 project NanoHybrids.
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