Project launch press release

NOVACAM (NOVel cheap and Abundant Materials for catalytic biomass conversion) is a new project funded under the NMP (nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies) theme of the EC 7th Framework Programme.

NOVACAM aims to develop catalysts using non-critical elements designed to unlock the potential of biomass into a viable energy and chemical feedstock source. The project will exploit the rational ‘catalysis by design’ approach to understand and overcome the barriers which currently inhibit utilisation of lignocelluloses. The approach will use of combinations of theoretical and experimental methods to come to design rules for the next generation of functional materials for catalytic biomass conversion and apply these rules practically, for example by making use of the structural properties of e.g. zeolites to manipulate catalytic environments.

NOVACAM will contribute to the implementation of European policies. Firstly, new catalytic technologies will be developed without relying on critical metals. The current supplies of fuels and feedstock chemicals are obtained from finite fossil fuels and are generated with catalysts that incorporate critical raw materials, such as platinum group metals and rare earth elements (REEs). These materials are almost entirely sourced outside of Europe and are subject to global supply chain disruptions and high price volatility. Secondly, the research goals align with the EU vision for the future development of the Bioeconomy and will contribute to the innovation effort required to develop cost-effective means of exploiting lignocellulosic material obtainable from waste sources, therby expanding the opportunities for the biomass industry.

The project is coordinated by Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, with European project partners Cardiff University, Consejo Superior de Investigacionea Científicas-Instituto de Tecnología Química (CSIC) and Chemistry Innovation (Dissemination and Exploitation). The project will be carried out with a partner consortium in Japan with complementary expertises in the field of innovative catalyst research.

For further information, please contact Project Coordinator Emiel Hensen:

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Project Coordinator: Professor Emiel Hensen, E.J.M.Hensen@TUE.NL Project Manager: Dr Gabriela Dima, G.E.Dima@TUE.NL

NOVACAM is a coordinated EU-Japan project supported by the European Union and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 604319.