About us

LUMEN is a project of TNO, Hasselt University, Zuyd University, Interuniversitair Microelectronics Center Leuven (IMEC), Innosyn and Ecosynth. The project is supported by the Interreg Flanders-Netherlands program, the Dutch government, and the provinces of North-Brabant (NL), Limburg (NL and VL) and East Flanders (VL).

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The partners

TNO

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What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
Within a number of transitions, TNO focuses strongly on the topics of sustainable energy and energy conversion and storage: the energy transition, the urbanization transition (e.g. heat generation in the built environment), and the industry transition (e.g. thin-film solar cells / Solliance). The value that TNO creates with the topics of energy conversion and storage is underlined by the Early Research Program Energy Conversion & Storage, which was started in 2015 and is substantively led by Dr. P. Buskens. Within this program the focus is on energy storage in the form of chemical bonds. Within this program TNO builds up competencies in the areas of photo- and electrocatalysis, within which highly relevant platform chemicals and fuels are made using resp. sunlight and electricity as an energy source. TNO strives for the highest possible conversion efficiency in the conversion of light / electricity to chemical energy. From the research that is already taking place within TNO on chemical energy storage, TNO participated as a partner in the Interreg project EnOp in which knowledge is developed in the field of making and characterizing nanostructured catalysts for these processes, designing the processes and required equipment and the design and execution of catalytic reactions, including the associated molecular analyzes. TNO has relevant knowledge of the state of the art in this research area and the market / value chain for the technologies mentioned.

What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
Within this Interreg project, TNO wants to raise the knowledge level in the field of energy storage by converting CO2 into energy carriers to such a high level within this Interreg project that companies from the Flanders-Netherlands region can pick this up and, in time, come up with innovative solutions contributing to the market evolution. Interreg LUMEN is an extension of the TNO Early Research Program “Power to Fuels” and the current Interreg ENOP project, whereby mutual reinforcement and addition takes place. Especially in combination with the other affiliated knowledge institutes in the South East Netherlands / Flanders region, TNO expects to be able to build a strong and unique, European leading consortium in the field of chemical energy storage. This consortium will raise the interest in the region as a knowledge region in the field of chemical energy storage.

InnoSyn

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What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
InnoSyn is an SME with around 50 employees on the Chemelot Brightlands Research Campus in Geleen (NL). InnoSyn was founded in May 2017, and was previously part of DSM. It specializes in the development of innovative, sustainable and economically viable technologies for the production of (high-quality) chemicals for a range of applications. Our products and processes are used for, among other things, medicines, plastics and coatings, fragrances and flavors, colorants, and food additives. The processes we have developed are mainly based on four competencies: biocatalysis, chemocatalysis, organic chemistry, and continuous production in mini-reactors. Our expertise in the field of chemo catalysis is particularly important for this project. InnoSyn has a broad and high-quality infrastructure to develop new catalysts and to optimize existing catalytic processes. InnoSyn also has a mini plant for scaling up to a few hundred kilograms of product.

What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
The catalysts to be developed in this project are based on a new principle that is expected to enable entirely new chemical transformations under unusually mild conditions. These mild conditions can make complex chemical products that would otherwise degrade, while these mild conditions also allow implementation in the mini plant of InnoSyn. In addition, these mild conditions contribute significantly to making the chemical process more sustainable. This project also offers an excellent opportunity to link up with innovative chemical developments in the rapidly growing field of sustainable energy within an increasingly circular economy based on renewable raw materials.

Imec

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What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
IMOMEC is an associated lab of IMEC (Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Center, Leuven) and is housed in the buildings of the Institute for Materials Research (IMO), a research center at the University of Hasselt, with extensive knowledge in the field of materials science. The highly interdisciplinary team of IMOMEC (chemists, physicists, engineers, biomedical researchers, ...) concentrates its joint activities in the field of broad band gap materials, organic synthesis, materials for electronic applications, basic materials for nanomaterials, nanophysics and electrical, physical and chemical characterization. IMOMEC aims to contribute to a sustainable society by participating in national and international research programs on energy conversion and storage and in the development of new sustainable materials. The main activity of the Inorganic and Physical Chemistry research group comprises the study of environmentally friendly, chemical methods for the preparation of high-tech nanostructured inorganic materials. On the one hand, a water-based sol-gel method is being developed and successfully optimized for the preparation of conductive and dielectric metal oxide powders and thin films. In addition, the research group develops research activities in the preparation via, inter alia, hydrothermal routes and microemulsion methods, and making inorganic nanomaterials applicable.

What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
By participating in this project, IMOMEC expects to expand its expertise in the development of sustainable materials to include catalysts that allow sunlight to be used as an energy source for valuable chemical processes. In this research, much attention will be paid to the chemical synthesis and chemical-structural characterization of starting products, intermediates and end products. Moreover, these characteristics will be associated with the chemical, morphological, optical or other relevant properties of the material systems as they are to be applied.

Zuyd Hogeschool

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What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
Zuyd Hogeschool is a medium-sized college with a focus on the region. The Faculty of Beta Sciences and Technology has 3 broad bachelor's programs, Built Environment, Engineering and Applied Sciences. The bachelor Applied Science consists of the specializations Biomedical Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Material Science. Zuyd supports the education of students, teacher professionalization and the regional industry through the research that is being done within the university.

The Faculty of Beta Sciences and Technology at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences focuses on two themes: Energy and Health. The Energy theme is focusing on, among other things, the energy transition, and in particular with renewable energy conversion and storage. The Material Science research group of Dr. ir. Gino van Strijdonck has gained broad knowledge in the field of flow chemistry, designing and building flow reactors, making and using nanomaterials, and catalysis. These important competencies for the Interreg LUMEN project are already being applied in the SIA KIEM "from waste to raw material" project Light2X, in which first designs of flow reactors for photochemical reactions using sunlight are made. Furthermore, in the SIA Raak project Flow4nano, a flow reactor was built based on a self-made design for the synthesis of nanoparticles. Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and specifically the above-mentioned professorship, has successfully participated in a wide range of subsidized research projects in recent years, including the Interreg project EnEf. In EnEf we design energy-saving processes with various partners.

What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
It is of great importance to work in teams of teacher / researchers and students on the urgent technology developments of the future, in order to further train teacher / researchers and students. Introducing students to sustainability at an early stage will automatically open their eyes to the challenges they will encounter in this field in their future careers. Cross-border cooperation with other training and knowledge institutes is very important for Zuyd University of Applied Sciences to develop new teaching materials in the field of energy storage so that our students can be the pool of employees from which the companies interested in this topic can recruit highly skilled employees. Cooperation with the companies and knowledge institutes in this consortium will further expire the applied nature of research into energy storage.

Interreg LUMEN is an extension of the SIA KIEM VANG project Light2X and will further strengthen our activities in the “Energy” theme in the field of energy storage, in order to build a strong, broad, regional network that facilitates the transition to the energy solutions of the future accelerated.

Universiteit Hasselt

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What are the relevant competences and experiences of the organization for the project?
At the UHasselt Institute for Materials Research, expertise from chemists, physicists and engineers is combined to conduct research into new materials for a sustainable world. In the field of energy, the focus is on material research for both energy generation (eg solar cells) and energy storage (eg in batteries or in chemicals), in which the entire chain from material design, synthesis to reliability of the devices is addressed. We are a partner in various national, interregional and European research programs.

The group of Prof. dr. Hardy and Prof. Van Bael (Inorganic and Physical Chemistry) has expertise in developing and understanding solution-based synthesis processes for the controlled production of inorganic materials as building blocks for sustainable applications. Examples are electrodes and electrolytes for batteries, interface layers in solar cells, printable functional coatings, etc ... Our interdisciplinary approach within the institute enables us to provide knowledge and expertise in the development of economically and ecologically responsible synthesis and deposition processes of materials, the chemical and physical characterization of these materials as well as the performance of the developed materials in innovative devices. The common thread and motivation of the research is invariably 'sustainability'. Not only do we realize progress in the design, production and application of materials as building blocks for innovative sustainability solutions. We also train young scientists to include innovation and sustainability as obvious ingredients in their vision as a scientist.

What is the motivation of the organization to participate in the project?
The UHasselt Institute for Materials Research specializes in fundamental and application-oriented interdisciplinary material research. We strive to play a leading role in knowledge and development of advanced material systems that contribute to a sustainable and healthy world. With this we aim to offer scientific / technological achievements with economic added value that can provide a solution for the societal challenges of our time and environment. Research into materials for sustainable energy generation and storage is a spearhead at UHasselt, which is one of the four partners in 'Energyville' and as a 'civic university', it wants to do research that contributes to the prosperity of the region. Cross-regional partnerships with other research and industrial partners form a major added value and drive.

The objective of the Interreg project, Lumen, fits perfectly with our ambitions to contribute to innovation in sustainability in this region, as well as with our expertise and drive to design, synthesize and characterize materials that serve as building blocks for sustainable applications. It offers us an opportunity to also use our knowledge in the development of catalyst materials for sustainable energy storage. We have already worked together with TNO and other partners in the ENOP Interreg project for this. The complementarity between the partners within the consortium is a clear added value and a requirement to also valorise the building blocks that we can develop meticulously in well-thought out and scalable demonstrators and to give us meaning as a region in this important research domain.

Ecosynth

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Participation in the LUMEN project is mainly inspired by EcoSynth's interests in applying photochemical technology as a clean and effective alternative to traditional, often energy-consuming and polluting processes. With access to new catalysts that become active when exposed to sunlight, it is very likely that new, useful products can be manufactured with a remarkably low footprint. This is further enhanced if materials of renewable origin are used as raw material in newly developed processes that are converted into products with desired physicochemical qualities on the basis of photocatalysis. In this way, this project contributes to sustainable innovation, all within a balanced and complementary consortium.

User and Advisory Committee

The user and advisory committee is to involve (external) companies in LUMEN. The following companies are involved in the project: Bionerga, Umicore, Aperam, Borealis, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Tessenderlo Chemie, Chemtrix and Creaflow. The user and advisory committee is informed on an annual basis about the current state of affairs in the project in order to be able to give advice to project partners. This ensures that the integral lab-scale demonstrator seamlessly meets the requirements of future industrial users. This will simplify and accelerate the transition from lab scale to pilot and industrial scale.

Interested in participating in the advisory committee? Please contact info@project-lumen.nl

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