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Explore novel concepts in hybrid materials design for heterogeneous catalysis, e.g. based on templating-effects, hierarchical architectures, tailored heterostructures or surface functionalisation and based on one-step synthesis, accomplishing i) the formation of a robust structure based on covalent bonds between organic and inorganic components and ii) accessibility of the catalysis-active moiety by tailoring the morphology and the polarity of the resulting materials, according to the targeted conditions and application such as condensations and asymmetric reactions.

A further aspect to be taken into account is the possibility to tune the cross-linking degree of the obtained hybrid materials by changing the synthetic parameters and synthesis route, to achieve different nano- and microstructures. The novel routes should be based on easy synthetic step(s) being scalable and adjustable for industrial scale, where toxic properties and LCA are taken into consideration.

The implementation of this topic is intended to start at TRL 3 and target TRL 5.

The European Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 5 to 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In many currently explored applications of organic-inorganic hybrid materials, the achievement of superior properties is often hampered by the weak chemical (i.e. van der Waals, hydrogen bonding) interactions existing between the inorganic building blocks, leading, inter alia, to leaching of the inorganic components, agglomeration, phase separation, low mechanical stability. This is particularly critical for heterogeneous catalysis applications, where a robust linkage between the components would afford better performances in terms of recovery and re-use of the catalyst. A further factor affecting the actual effectiveness of heterogeneous catalysts is the accessibility of the active component, being facilitated by either i) a porous microstructure or by ii) a loosely cross-linked structure enabling swelling of the hybrid catalyst in the reaction medium, where the substrate is dispersed. In the latter case, an important role is played by the polarity of the medium in which the catalysis is carried out.

  • Scientific and technological breakthroughs in the development of novel concepts in hybrid materials design for industrial heterogeneous catalysis;
  • Proposals addressing novel C-C bond forming and recyclable hybrid catalysts are expected to produce valuable chemicals of biological and pharmaceutical importance;
  • The activity of the novel solid hybrid catalysts is expected be higher than the counterpart homogenous catalyst, improving process efficiency providing economic and environmental benefits;
  • Considering the leading-edge character of the proposed field, the impact for the European industry in terms of market entry of new and improved products based on project results is expected to be in the medium to long term (5 – 10 years after project end).

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

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