EU and Japan jointly invest €10,7 million for breakthrough research on advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels

Professor Pedro Camargo’s team is part of the project and they will develop catalyst for sustainable fuels for aviation starting from CO2.

EU and Japan jointly invest for 3 different projects: The 4AirCRAFT project responds to the urgent need for low or net-zero emission fuels in the growing market of air transportation; The ORACLE project aims at synthesizing renewable ammonia from nitrogen and H2O which may be used as a fuel in shipping; The ORACLE project aims at synthesizing renewable ammonia from nitrogen and H2O which may be used as a fuel in shipping. Projects started at the beginning of May.

Professor Pedro Camargo and his team from the University of Helsinki is involved in this EU-Japan consortium “Air Carbon Recycling for Aviation Fuel Technology” (4Aircraft), project that will target the production of sustainable fuels for aviation starting from CO2. This consortium gets 2.6 million euros of the total 10,7 million.

Rational design of catalytic materials is a must

– Our part in this project is catalyst development. More specifically, we will work on the design, preparation, and study of inorganic nanoparticles that can act as high-performance catalysts to accelerate or drive the conversion of CO2 and H2 into aviation fuels under much milder and greener conditions relative to conventional processes, says Camargo.

This will be achieved by controlled synthesis and the unraveling of structure performance relationships both comprising the activity and the selectivity of the reaction towards molecules that are suitable as aviation fuels. We will marry the complementary expertise of our team in the areas of synthetic chemistry, advanced characterization, modelling, catalytic assessment, and investigation of reaction mechanisms upon which ultimate performance and selectivity are achieved, he continues.

A new paradigm to the aviation industry

The intensive exploitation of fossil fuels by mankind brought our ecosystem to the edge of a cliff. While their increasingly serious consequences on the global climate manifest year after year, we find ourselves challenged in a worldwide effort to curb anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the green transition of modern society to a more sustainable and circular economy.

Growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions across the global economy brings a new paradigm to the aviation industry. Air transportation is by far not only the most efficient and often convenient option for travel and shipping commodities but also the most energy-intensive one. Nevertheless, to date no realistic carbon-neutral solution for aircraft propulsion has emerged, thus making the development of low- or net-zero emission fuels is a crucial and urgent challenge to address.

-The efficient use of CO2 as a starting material to platform molecules, value-added chemicals, and fuels plays a central role to bring this vision closer to reality. Unfortunately, conventional technologies often suffer from low selectivity and conversion while lacking energy efficiency. Therefore, new technology solutions are required, in which the rational design of catalytic materials is a must, says Camargo.

Eu-press release

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