Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COSMIC (European Training Network for Continuous Sonication and Microwave Reactors)
Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-09-30
COSMIC focused on the synthesis of organic molecules and nanoparticles for use in organic syntheses, catalyst preparation and health applications, all of which are im¬portant domains in the fine-chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries today and into the future. COSMIC’s specific science and technology (S/T) objectives are to develop:
• Resource-efficient multiphase reactions in the fields of organic synthesis (C–H, C=C and C≡C bond activation) and nanoparticle synthesis (for use in catalysis and health applications);
• Intensified reactors that efficiently integrate milliflow technology with ultrasound and/or microwave actuation;
• Knowledge-based assessment and decision methodologies to evaluate and select process-intensification technologies.
• New chemistries were developed, in batch, in flow, with and without ultrasound and/or microwaves;
• Novel (nano)catalysts and crystalline materials were synthesized by flow, ultrasound and microwave conditions, these materials can serve in catalytic, drying and health applications;
• Ultrasound and microwaves were shown to increase mass, heat and momentum transfer, leading to quicker and more efficient reactions;
• Better mechanistic understanding of ultrasound and microwave irradiation and activation was achieved, leading to better models that can be applied to predict, validate and understand experimental results;
• Scenario modelling analysis was developed and optimized processes were assessed with a sensitivity analysis for all the technologies analyzed within the project.
A total of 51 scientific publications, 49 blogs, 1 video, 15 knowledge clips and 2 newsletters were disseminated. A list of these can be found on the following website: https://cosmic-etn.eu/. COSMIC results also led to 1 follow-up EU project (SIMPLIFY, https://www.spire2030.eu/simplify) 2 industrial implementations (of which 1 still running) and 2 filed patents.
In the context of enhancing research- and innovation-related skills and knowledge the project has more than succeeded in developing a team of professionals with enviable expertise in process intensification, flow chemistry, ultrasound- and microwave-assisted chemical technology and sustainability/techno-economic assessment. COSMIC has addressed a number of important EU needs – with respect to the development of local process control and energy supply using innovative energy sources like microwaves and ultrasound, extending the processing options for the continuous operation of solids-containing process fluids in small & intensified devices, and adapting intensified process equipment to advances in nanotechnology. This is extremely relevant and is the most significant impact that a project can have on the EU and society. In the wider context the COSMIC project has impacted on the policy objectives outlined by the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SUSCHEM) and the European Federation of Chemical Engineers (EFCE).
In technology terms, the work performed within COSMIC is having a very strong impact on the use of process intensification technologies in Europe, and on COSMIC’s industrial partners’ (like ARKEMA and Microinnova) businesses. The SIMPLIFY project, with core involvement of ARKEMA and Weber Ultrasonics, is an example of this. COSMIC, together with other running (EU) projects, has kept process intensification on the radar of the European innovation sector, in particular the industrial companies. During the IPIC2 conference in Leuven (https://kuleuvencongres.be/ipic2019) the COSMIC consortium organized a well-attended COSMIC Symposium with lots of industrial participants. The COSMIC partners were also crucial in the organization of the Industrial Day of that conference, a well-received discussion forum between academia and industry for the future of process intensification.