PlasmaSol

Atmospheric Plasma as green Solution for enhanced adhesion and functionalization

Ambition

In the PlasmaSol project 5 companies and 3 knowledge institutes will collaborate to develop more innovative and sustainable adhesion and functionalization technologies for various materials through atmospheric plasma.

In the past, durable adhesion on a broad range of substrates has been achieved using conventional wet chemical surface treatments. These wet chemical surface treatments come with several ecological and health – related issues. It is well-known that solvent-based technologies are hazardous and highly flammable. However, also water-based processes, although being a safer alternative for solvent-based processes, come with ecological disadvantages. As such, a vast amount of waste water is generated, whereas the need for an additional drying step leads to a high energy consumption. Within the aim of reducing energy and (hazardous) chemical usage, atmospheric plasma technology is proposed as an eco-friendly alternative for surface activation and modification, while offering properties that are not always within the reach of conventional processes. Meanwhile, conventional process steps (i.e. cleaning steps, primer application) can be eliminated leading to reduced process time and energy- and chemical usage. This project focusses on plasma functionalization as a promising technology to improve adhesion, anti-bacterial and flame-retarding properties.

Action

This project focusses on retrieving fundamental physical and chemical insights in plasma polymerisation and modification mechanisms as well as modelling of the plasma process. Considering its applicability in industrially relevant environments, the plasma reactor design will be optimized to obtain homogeneously deposited functionalized coatings. Furthermore, efforts will be taken to automize this new technology to make it industrially viable for a broad range of applications.

From Innovation to Business

With a broad range of industrial partners working together throughout the value chain and new fundamental insights and innovations in atmospheric plasma from the knowledge institutions, the PlasmaSol partners will maximize the potential to discover new industrial applications. This project is expected to finish in 2022. Project results will be announced on this page shortly afterwards.

Project type: ICON
Approved on: 24/10/2019
Duration: 01/11/2019 – 31/10/2022
Total project budget: EUR 3.371.978
Subsidy: EUR 2.325.748
Partners:    

BIORESAL

BIO-based RESins from Aldehydes and Lignin

Context

The current industrial production of a wide range of chemicals and synthetic polymers relies on fossil resources. Consumers and brand owners drive the search for bio-based materials and products that are considered more sustainable. Companies search for performant materials containing bio-sourced carbon. Phenol, a fossil-derived chemical building block, is used downstream in various chemical formulations and applications, such as phenolic resins. Phenolic resins are successfully used in a variety of industrial applications, among others automotive, coating, varnish, adhesives, construction and insulation foams. For all these applications, there is a continued drive to find novel sustainable alternatives to these basic building blocks. In view of its chemical resemblance and availability, lignin and its derivatives could be a viable alternative to partially substitute phenol in phenol-formaldehyde resins.

Goal

The BIORESAL project aims to research to produce bio-based LPF resins by replacing phenol with (modified) oligomeric lignin fractions, as potentially less hazardous and sustainable building blocks for their application in insulation materials and moulding compounds. Most importantly, this replacement is needed in a technologically proven and economically viable way. Additionally, the BIORESAL project will include the evaluation of a series of aldehydes as co-reactant in the synthesis of bio-based LPF resins.

Project type: ICON
Approved on: 13/12/2018
Duration: 01/05/2019 – 30/04/2022
Total project budget: EUR 2.596.723
Subsidy: EUR 1.807.567
Partners:    

Opleiden 4.0

Living Lab Industry 4.0: Opleiden 4.0

Background

Industry 4.0 technologies and digitalisation provide interesting opportunities for educating and training individual employees. Despite such technological developments being rapid and numerous, companies in the chemical, plastics and process industries rarely implement them in new learning and training methods.

Goal

In the Opleiden 4.0 project, Catalisti – together with imec, Karel de Grote Hogeschool and ACTA – seeks to develop, test and validate innovative learning and training methods based on industry 4.0 technology. In the living lab, collective sessions and workshops will demonstrate a number of promising technique. In addition, the living lab seeks to support companies in working out concrete cases. Finally, the project aims to stimulate the transition of chemical companies towards industry 4.0 by creating success stories and best practices that can be shared with other companies.

Innovation

Recently, Catalisti and its project partners presented its first research results and conceptual developments. Through in-depth interviews with VDAB and 16 employees from six different companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, the project mapped the training needs of the sector. Following exhaustive research into modern learning and training methods, technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) proved to be most promising. Next spring, on the 5th of March 2020, ACTA will host an event to test several technological learning methods and see whether they indeed lead to the required learning outcomes. To be continued!

Business

A high-quality workforce is crucial to the Flemish chemical and plastics industry. This project seeks to ensure that employers have the right learning and training methods at their disposal to strengthen the competences and skills of their employees.

If your company is interested in this living lab, do not hesitate to visit the relevant VLAIO webpage or contact Jeroen van Walsem (jvanwalsem@catalisti.be) for more information.

Project type: Living lab Industry 4.0
Approved on: 03/12/2018
Duration: 01/04/2019 – 31/03/2022
Total project budget: EUR 429.960
Subsidy: EUR 343.968
Partners:  

PolyFlam

Polyol-based Flame Retardants and Lubricants

Context

Flame retardants are a diverse group of chemicals which are added to a number of different materials (e.g. plastics, textiles, building materials) to enhance the materials’ resistance to fire. Within this diverse group, halogenated flame retardants are often regarded as being the most effective flame retardant, as only relatively small amounts are needed to obtain high flame protection. Nevertheless, this class of flame retardants can have detrimental effects on the aquatic environment if they leach out of different (plastic) materials, as they are very persistent, and they tend to bioaccumulate. A second possible negative effect could be their toxicity for humans. For these reasons, a number of them have been put on the candidate list (SVHC), like for instance Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and Decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE). There is clearly a need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly flame retardants.

Goal

This project aims to develop and produce branched polyols derived from a bio-based alcohol. These polyols can then be further transformed into (reactive) flame retardants via phosphorylation chemistry. The obtained flame retardants can subsequently be used in different applications, such as textile, polymers and fire-resistant industrial fluids. The bio-based polyols can also be converted into (fully) bio-based lubricants. A successful project will result in a new value chain starting from a common bio-based alcohol and ending up in high-end applications that can be embedded in the chemical industry in Flanders.

Project type: ICON
Approved on: 13/12/2018
Duration: 01/04/2019 – 31/03/2022
Total project budget: EUR 2.274.737
Subsidy: EUR 1.633.696
Partners:

AppliSurf

Screening the Application potential of a yeast-based bioSURFactant portfolio

Surfactants are performance molecules that intervene in nearly every product and aspect of human daily life with a global turnover of $ 31 billion in 2016. Despite the efforts to move towards a bio-based economy, only 4 % of the surfactant market is 100 % bio-based (e.g. APGs and MESs). An even smaller part (<0.1 %) of the market is not only 100 % bio-based, but also produced through biological processes, such as microbial, plant-based and/or enzymatic processes. Although a lot of companies are striving towards such sustainable solutions, current limitations blocking valorisation of such technologies can be mainly defined as 1. higher production costs and 2. limited structural variability and thus a lack of physicochemical (and biological) properties.

In AppliSurf a combination of genetic modification, fermentation development/optimization and green chemistry will be applied to enable commercial production at an acceptable cost of an innovative and broad portfolio of biosurfactant structures. The unique properties of these ‘new-to-market’ biosurfactants will be identified by high throughput screening for industrially relevant properties (foaming, emulsification, wetting, gelling, antimicrobial properties, etc.). Subsequent structure-function modeling of this family of compounds will enable the prediction of the properties of compounds not included in the screen. The latter will maximize the output of the project, also after the projects’ end. Scale-up of the optimized production processes will generate samples for in-house evaluation by the interested industrial members of the user group.

JOIN the Industry User Group of this project

The project partners are looking for companies that wish to be involved in the user group of this VIS project. The user group is open to all interested companies, including companies established outside the Flemish region. Interested companies can contact Catalisti (info@catalisti.be)

Project type: VIS
Approved on: 01/10/2017
Duration: August 2018 – July 2022
Total project budget: EUR 624.827
Subsidy: EUR 499.853
Partners:     

 

Brainstormmeetings: Voedingsverpakkingen voor de toekomst

In 2030 zullen alle voedselverpakkingen circulair moeten zijn en ook aan de snelle evolutie van digitalisatie en personalisatie kunnen we niet voorbijgaan. Pack4Food en de speerpuntclusters Flanders’ FOOD (voeding), VIL (logistiek), SIM (nieuwe materialen) en Catalisti (chemie en kunststoffen) werken sinds september aan een Roadmap rond de voedselverpakkingen voor de toekomst. Deze Roadmap moet de onderzoekslijnen uitzetten voor de komende jaren (2018-2030) om samen met de industrie, overheids- en kennisinstellingen geavanceerde verpakkingen te ontwikkelen, gefocust op de noden van de toekomst.

Om deze Roadmap vorm te geven, willen we de specifieke noden, barrières & uitdagingen van bedrijven via interactieve brainstormsessies in kaart brengen om zo cross-sectorale opportuniteiten te identificeren. Hierbij nodigen we jullie vriendelijk uit om deel te nemen aan 1 of meerdere brainstormmeetings al naargelang uw interesse.

Data van de brainstormmeetings:

·        Algemene Brainstorm Meeting: maandag 15 okt, 10-15u, Living Tomorrow, Indringingsweg 1, 1800 Vilvoorde

·        Thematische Brainstorm Meeting “Smart & Personalised” packaging: maandag 5 nov, 9-17.30u, TBD

·        Thematische Brainstorm Meeting “Extra thema”*: vrijdag 16 nov, 9-13u, TBD

·        Thematische Brainstorm Meeting “Circular” packaging: donderdag 29 nov, 11-15.30u, Huis van de voeding, Spanjestraat 141, 8800 Roeselare

*Extra thema: op basis van de uitkomst van de algemene brainstorm meeting bestaat de kans dat er nog extra thema’s geïdentificeerd wordt. Deze zouden dan aan bod komen op 16 nov.

Een meer gedetailleerde agenda met locatie volgt nog naar de ingeschreven bedrijven.

Gelieve zo snel mogelijk jullie deelname met het aantal personen te confirmeren via de inschrijvingsmodule: https://goo.gl/forms/bykgzqpZSAdhgAtK2

Indien u nog vragen heeft of meer inlichtingen wil over dit project, aarzel niet Pack4Food of één van de speerpuntclusters te contacteren!

We hopen op jullie massale belangstelling en deelname!

MATTER

Mechanical and Thermochemical Recycling of Mixed Plastic Waste

The MATTER project, a two-year Catalisti-ICON project (2018-2019), wants to evaluate the recycling of mixed (post-consumer) plastic waste streams and to use the generated data to develop a decision supporting framework. The MATTER project is a cooperation between four companies (Indaver, Borealis, Bulk.ID and ECO-oh!), Ghent University (4 research groups) and University of Antwerp (2 research groups). Organizations such Fost+, Plarebel and OVAM will be closely involved in the project execution.

Aim

Within the MATTER project, technical and market-based criteria will be developed to support an optimal plastic waste management system. More specifically, the project will focus on the P+ fraction (all plastics packaging waste) of the extended P+MD collection and recycling scheme. Partners from across the whole value chain are included in the project consortium: separation and pretreatment (Indaver and Bulk.ID), mechanical recycling (Borealis and ECO-oh!) and thermochemical recycling (Indaver and Borealis). Sustainability analyses will enable the development of a decision-supporting framework.

Impact

By generating general knowledge on the recycling of mixed plastic waste and specific knowledge on the optimization of the P+MD recycling scheme, the valorization of the project is twofold. On short-term, the collection of an extra 50.000-150.000 tons of mixed plastic waste is expected for the P+MD scheme, most of which are packaging materials for which not always alternatives to incineration are available today. The results of the MATTER project will therefore be essential for the development of sustainable recycling solutions for this significant amount of waste. In the longer run, the general recycling knowledge can result in extra activities on the processing of other plastic waste fractions.

DAP²

Introduction

Chemical or pharmaceutical companies generate a lot of valuable data which are currently not fully explored because of laborious (pre-)processing activities and the limitations of the available software tools which are typically designed to meet one specific objective. Data generation, however, is going to intensify over the coming years with the growing number of sensors, software applications and data storage capacity. This project aims to maximize data usage in a real-time manner for the benefit of chemical process development and manufacturing ensuring improved process optimization and operational excellence.

Goal

The main goal of the DAP² project will be to effectively implement real time data usage on several test-case processes/unit operations. Specific tasks and goals to achieve the main goal:

  • Develop and setup a suitable data architecture (data warehousing) that allows machine learning enabled feedback loops in highly regulated environments
  • Develop and test machine-learning/AI data analysis platform
  • Perform test and learns on real time cases and evaluate modelling and data warehouse strategies

RESCO

Reduction of emissions and sustainable (solvents in) polyurethane coating

Project information
Project type: COOP Cooperative Research and Development
Starting date: July 1st 2018
Total project budget: To be determined
Subsidy: To be determined
Introduction

With certain textile PU coating processes solvent is used or even combinations of solvents. For the removal of the solvent gas emissions, the companies use air purification techniques like scrubbers, rotor concentrators and post combustion. In cases where the gas streams have a medium or high load, the efficiency of current technologies is not high enough to reduce the solvent to the required minimum concentrations. The textile coating companies in Flanders are subjected to stricter controls, by the regulation agencies, compared to competitors outside Flanders. The companies need a robust, reliable and efficient emission gas treatment to be combined with their current technique to secure their operations in Flanders.

A feasibility desktopstudy was already performed. This study screened 16 technologies for this use and concluded that 6 technologies show potential to meet the screening criteria: compatibility with running production systems and installations, (expected) effect and efficiency on removal of solvent, ecological and economical sustainability and “user friendly” (working conditions for operators, etc).

Goal

The overall goal of this project will be to tackle persistent issues in the use of the solvent in polyurethane coating applications. The main, short term development will consist of pilot scale solvent emission reduction. The secondary, longer term goal comprises the development of new, sustainable solvents for PU dispersions and coating processes to replace the current solvents while striving to preserve existing coating infrastructure.

Expertise

There is no knowledge gap in the project. No additional partners are required. This document is a notification of a new project. Please contact Leentje Croes (lcroes@catalisti.be, +32 472 889 776) if you have questions concerning this notification.

DIGICHEM

Industry 4.0: towards a digitized chemical and plastics sector in Flanders

In 2017 Catalisti, the cluster for chemistry and plastics in Flanders, has initiated a study, DIGICHEM, to obtain an overview of the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 in the chemical and plastics sector in Flanders, the related challenges, and required collective actions that must be taken to increase the level of implementation to maintain competitiveness of the sector in Flanders on a European (and worldwide) level.

The DIGICHEM study was executed by Centexbel, sirris and Catalisti in a joint effort in the period February 2018 – January 2019. Within the study, Catalisti, Centexbel and sirris interviewed more than 40 individual companies, analyzed the relevant pre-existing studies and collected information from more than 70 different organizations through collective workshops.

The DIGICHEM study confirmed the importance and great potential impact on following overarching key features:

  • An increased operational excellence, productivity and flexibility within production, supported by a vertical integration within a smart and digitized factory;
  • A horizontal integration, leading to the development of new products and associated services from collaboration in a digitized supply chain.

Depending on their size, their position in the value chain or the products they produce, the route towards Industry 4.0 is different for every business. Adoption barriers are related to building a vision and strategy, digitization of all resources, the coupling with information systems, the organization structure and culture. Understanding the challenges and the barriers allows the development of a dedicated action plan for the Flemish chemical and plastics industry, focusing on the (collective) actions and trajectories that are needed to put more companies on the I4.0 road.

The actions in the action plan will be carried out in the coming years through collaboration of all triple helix partners in Flanders: government, research institutions and industry. The action plan exists of 4 major action lines: ‘Technology scouting and watch’, ‘Experimentation labs’, ‘Learning network’ and ‘Skills, education and legal framework’. The action plan describes both actions to be taken over the coming years and actions that are already ongoing in Flanders.

Catalisti will take the necessary steps and coordinate with all relevant stakeholders in Flanders to implement the various action lines of the plan through strong collaborations.

Download the DIGICHEM end report here.

Project information
Project type: VIS Study
Approved on: 05/12/2017
Duration: 01/02/2018 – 31/01/2019
Total project budget: EUR 124.943
Subsidy: EUR 99.955
Partners: