All MACBETH partners gain their manifold knowledge and background in membrane technology through various research and development projects on national and EU level. Exemplarily, the following EU projects with the major focus on the development of the building block for each MACBETH project cases are listed. The key partners of these previous projects and thus all their competencies are in place in MACBETH, which provides a high probability of success.

ROMEO - Reactor Optimization by Membrane Enhanced Operation

ROMEO synergizes 9 European partners from industry and academia to implement an efficient platform for the optimal design of innovative integrated reactors for process intensification in an industrial setting.

ROMEO’s “two-in-one” reactors combine optimized membrane modules and the immobilization of highly active and selective homogeneous catalysts to carry out chemical synthesis and downstream processing in a single step. As demonstration cases two important reactions were investigated from nano- to macro-scale: hydroformylation (conversion of olefins and syngas to aldehydes) and water-gas shift reaction (use of CO-containing syngas derived from biomass to generate hydrogen).
With this innovative approach ROMEO will:

  • improve selectivity and productivity of industrial reactions, including raw material savings and catalyst recycling
  • reduce energy consumption by up to 80% in industrial catalytic gas-phase reactions
  • reduce related emissions by up to 90%

The ROMEO project focused on the combination of a homogeneously catalysed reaction step with a membrane separation step in one reactor. To do so, homogeneous catalysts were supported on membranes. Embedding homogeneous catalysts in thin films of non-volatile ionic liquids (SILP technology) maintained their catalytic abilities as in the homogeneous phase while the anchoring directly on or even in the membrane ensures a most efficient separation.

COSMOS - Camelina & crambe Oil crops as Sources for Medium-chain Oils for Specialty oleochemicals

COSMOS aims to reduce Europe’s dependence among others on imported coconut and palm kernel oils as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer building blocks needed by the oleochemical industry for e.g. the production of plastics, surfactants, detergents, lubricants, plasticizers.

To overcome this, the currently underutilized domestic oil crops camelina and crambe will be turned into profitable, sustainable, multipurpose, non-transgenic European oil crops for the production of oleochemicals. Besides the optimization of seed and plant properties (high yield, low resource inputs, ease of cultivation and harvesting, optimized vegetative tissues and fatty acid profiles), the fractionation of extracted oils into various fatty acids will be improved by highly selective enzyme technologies and extraction processes. Additionally, to establish an overall economic, social and environmental sustainable life cycle of the value chain, vegetative tissues (like straw, leaves and press cake) will be utilized as insect fed to gain  high-value proteins, chitin and fats for use in food and feed products.

BIONICO - BIOgas membrane reformer for deceNtralIzed hydrogen produCtiOn

The BIONICO project develops, manufactures and demonstrates a novel reactor concept integrating H2 production and separation in a single vessel for real biogas production plants. The hydrogen production capacity is planned to be of 100 kg/day with a target purity of 99.99%. Additionally, this novel concept results in an increase of the overall efficiency (>70%) as well as component savings and potential cost reduction.

CARENA - CAtalytic Membrane REactors based on New mAterials for C1-C4 valorisation

CARENA project aims to create technologies enabling efficient conversion of light alkanes and CO2 into higher value chemicals. Light alkanes (C1–C4) and CO2 are stable molecules which are difficult to activate and transform directly and selectively to added-value products.

These challenges could be overcome thanks to relevant Process Intensification (PI) along with the smart implementation of catalytic membrane reactors, contributing therefore to the reduction of dependency of the European community on imported oil. CARENA project will address the key issues required to pave the way to marketing Catalytic Membrane Reactors in the European chemical industry.