BioHart (EU INTERREG programme, 2016-2019)
In Dutch, the acronym BIO-HArT stands for 'Biorizon Innovation and Upscaling of Renewable Aromatics Technology'. Biorizon is a Shared Research Center with an initial focus on technology development for the production of functionalized biobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. Over the past years Biorizon has developed three commercially promising technologies for the conversion of wood, sugars and lignin into aromatics. By demonstrating the technology within this project on a larger scale, the confidence in the applicability of the technology on an industrial scale enhances and the risk to invest diminishes. Simultaneously bio-aromatics will be produced in sufficient quantities to be able to start application development routes.
Eighteen months after the project launch, the University of Antwerp has booked remarkable progress. Chemists of Organic Synthesis research group have developed new convenient and green methods for the transformation of monomers from lignin oil to the valuable industrial chemicals such as catechol and pyrogallol. The developed methods use neither expensive catalysts, nor toxic solvents. A European patent application has been filed.
This project is established by a contribution of the European Interreg V Flanders-The Netherlands program that stimulates innovation, sustainable energy, a healthy environment and the labor market by means of cross-border projects. On a total budget of € 6.085.445,38 Interreg contributes € 3.042.722,69 (50 %) and besides that the provinces of North-Brabant, Antwerp, East-Flanders and Flemish-Brabant offered additional funding. Thereby they make an important contribution to the further development of the Flemish-Dutch border region as a top location for the transition to a more sustainable, biobased economy and an efficient use of natural resources.
ARBOREF: Aromatic biorefinery (FISCH - Flanders Innovation Hub for sustainable Chemistry project, 2015-2019)
While the conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose to fuels and chemicals has already been extensively studied, the conversion technology for lignine valorsization is developed significantly less. Central to the project is a recently developed COK technology, which converts wood into mono-phenols (from lignin), and cellulose pulp. What are the most interesting synthetic routes from the lignin fraction, which allow both synthesis of existing chemicals such as phenol, but also new chemicals for polymer and fine chemical applications? This is the challenge ORSY is tackling together with COK within the ARBOREF project.
CHEM21: Chemical manufacturing methods for the 21st century pharmaceutical industries (IMI - Innovative Medicines Initiative project, 2012-2017)
CHEM21 is a project that will develop a broad based portfolio of sustainable technologies for green chemical intermediate manufacture aimed at the pharmaceutical industry. It is the largest public private project funded in Europe in the field of sustainable chemistry. ORSY is involved in the Work Package concerned with the development of sustainable chemical catalysts and processes. The focus is on the use of abundant and low toxicity first row transition metal catalysts such as iron, nickel and copper and their use in transformations that have been selected by pharma companies as being of most value in improving drug manufacture. These include aromatic C-H activation to make C-O, C-C and C-N bonds.
FunMem4Affinity: Exploration of functional ceramic membranes for affinity organic solvent nanofiltration (IWT project, 2012-2015).
The projecthas developed a toolbox of innovative functionalized ceramic membranes (FunMem) with pores in the range of 1 nm. The synthesis of the membranes is done using a new proprietary grafting method based on organometallic chemistry leading to a direct covalent bonding of the organic functional group to the metal of metaloxide membranes. ORSY was involved in the use of these membranes for catalyst separation and recovery.