Flow4Reactors (Intense4Chem)   


Coordinator : Thierry Randoux (CerTech, Belgium)
UCLouvain promotors : Alain Jonas, Antony Fernandes (BSMA)

The chemical and life sciences industry is the second largest industrial sector in Wallonia. It represents 26,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs. The turnover of the sector is 11.5 billion euros for a positive trade balance of 4.8 billion. This high-tech industry spends € 1 billion every year on R&D to face not only ever fiercer competition, but also major energy costs and difficulties in sourcing raw materials. Process intensification proposes to develop innovative processes that are more efficient, more sustainable and more safe. The INTENSE4CHEM project portfolio proposes to develop small-scale facilities, possibly in the form of mobile platforms, to provide high value-added products in an economically viable and environmentally responsible manner. In this context, it is part of the main directions of European research by being in phase with the European calls PPP SPIRE "Sustainable Process Industries" and BBI "Biobased Industries Initiative", creating a concomitance in accordance with the strategy of Smart Specialization of the commission.

The objective pursued by the Flow4Reactors project within the INTENSE4CHEM project portfolio is the development of catalytic micro-structured reactors. The tools and skills developed will be made available to Wallonia manufacturers by creating a unique technological platform dedicated to micro-reactors. The Flow4Reactors project will focus on demonstrating the potential of structured reactors for the transformation of bio-sourced platform molecules into key precursors for industrial chemistry. The project will stimulate research and innovation on these hybrid technologies and support the development of a micro-reactor focused activity for the chemical sector in Wallonia.

The objectives of the Flow4Reactors project are:

  • Develop a technological platform dedicated to intensified reactors. Several technologies are envisaged and require a hybrid expertise panel: catalysis and micro-technologies (structuring of reactors, heterogenization of catalysis), micro/meso-fluidics (flow modeling), micro-engineering and assembly.
  • Eco-design of reactors, syntheses and their assembly.
  • Optimize micro-reactors for a crucial reaction in organic chemistry: dehydration.
  • Validate the development of supports and synthesis methods on two bio-sourced platform molecules: the conversion of butanol to butene (gas phase reaction) and the transformation of glycerol to acrolein (multiphase reaction).
  • Develop synergies with other projects in the INTENSE4CHEM portfolio (Flow4Syn, Flow4Reactors & Flow4Solids).
  • Provide training centers with the expertise and know-how acquired.

The European Regional Development Fund and Wallonia are investing in your future.

Total cost: € 6,169,347 including ERDF: € 2,467,739 and Wallonia: € 2,857,194