Development of nanoporous materials for heat storage/transformation applications, including design of new porous solids and post-synthesis tailoring of inorganic and metal-organic sorbtion materials

Call Reference: 
Horizon 2020 Marie Curie ITN
Short description of project idea : 
In novel technologies of heating and cooling of buildings, which themselves require about a half of all the consumed energy in the developed world, alternative approaches to energy storage and allocation are investigated. Several of these approaches aim at energy storage that would not require the transformation of solar energy to electrical energy, and among them one of the most promising is sorption-based energy storage in porous materials, which is the core idea for proposal, submitted to MSCA-ITN in January 2018. Junior generation of researchers will gain the insight of development of new, innovative, nanoporous materials for heat storage and transformation applications.
National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia
Main areas of expertise: 
esearch is oriented towards the development of new technologies and products, which will help to ensure the long-term development of Slovenia and which are internationally relevant. Industry is an important partner to the Institute in these endeavors. There are a number of Slovenian companies with whom the Institute has entered into close long-term cooperation, as well as a number of well-regarded foreign companies. From a financial point of view, this kind of cooperation represents 20% of the income of the Institute. Contact with world science The Institute offers high-level research equipment, allowing researchers to engage in even the most cutting edge research challenges at the world level. Some acquisitions are: a Karl Zeiss Supra 35 VP Electronic Microscope with EDX analysis, a high resolution powder x-ray diffractometer, and an 800 MHz NMR spectrometer; these are the only ones of their kind in Slovenia. The NMR spectrometer is the first of this kind of instrument to be found in the new member states of EU and represents one of the largest investments in a free-standing piece of research equipment in Slovenia.
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Research thesis
Development of nanoporous materials for heat storage/transformation applications, including design of new porous solids and post-synthesis modification of sorbents, i.e. tailoring of hydrophilic properties of inorganic and metal-organic sorption materials. Synthesis of new or modified water sorbents, including (1) microporous aluminophosphates (ALPOs) that allow reversible changes in Al coordination by the water sorption processes, (2) metal-organic framework (MOFs) structures with large surface areas, coordinatively unsaturated, properly distributed and accessible metal sites, (3) mesoporous zeolites with hydrophobic-hydrophilic properties and (4) composite materials, consisting of the microporous and mesoporous host matrices and finely-dispersed hygroscopic metal salts impregnated into the pore system to introduce additional sorption sites, ae well as coatings with carbon to increase thermal conductivity. The sorbents would be prepared hydrothermally, solvothermally and by microwaves as nano- and micro-powders. Post-synthesis modifications (demetallation, ion exchange, grafting, etc.) would be used to tailor hydrophilic-hydrophobic properties of adsorbents. Structural and sorption properties of new materials would be studied by: (1) basic structure characterization (XRD, SEM, TEM, nitrogen physisorption, elemental analysis, thermal analysis) of synthesized products, (2) detailed characterization of active sites in selected materials by using HRTEM, solid state NMR, EXAFS/XANES, UV-VIS, Mossbauer spectroscopy, complemented by (3) the first-principles calculations of NMR and XAS observables and chemical modelling of adsorption and (4) characterization of products for heat storage applications (water sorption dynamics, calculation of heat of adsorption, hydrothermal stability-cycling).
Challenges that may determine the impact of the project: 
Required knowledge and its industrial applications
In order to succefully complte the project following research areas need to be covered: (1) modelling of water behaviour in nanoporous solids, (2) providing more compact configurations like monoliths, composites, (3) industrial applications in heat storage.
Partners that have already expressed interest in the project and expected role: 
Partially the consortium allready is formed but we are searching for more partners to join.
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
academic and industrial partners and SME
The National institute of Chemistry as coordinator of the proposal is searching for partners who have expertise in (1) modelling of water behaviour in nanoporous solids, (2) providing more compact configurations like monoliths, composites, (3) industrial applications in heat storage.
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
Horizon 2020
several programmes
Specific countries/regions/cities you are keen to collaborate with: 
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Name of the organisation: 
Kemijski institut/ National institute of Chemistry
Short description of organisation: 
The National Institute of Chemistry has 300 employees (31.12.2015), of which around 266 carry out research work in 14 laboratories and two infrastructure centers; 136 of these have doctorates of science degrees. Research and development expertizes od NIC departments, which are also interesting for the cooperation with industry, can be found at the following links: Computer simulations life sciences and bioinformatics chemometrics and statistical methods in chemistry, proteomics and genomics studies of links between the structure and function of complex molecular systems Materials analysis and synthesis of polymeric materials development of porous adsorbents and porous catalysts development of heterogeneous catalysts development of advanced batteries development of coatings Chemical technology and engineering development and optimization of chemical processes wastewater cleaning Chemical analysis inorganic materials and ionic species chemical and biochemical analysis of water substances in food supplements development, validation and analysis of active pharmaceutical ingredients and products according to GMP standard characterization of chemical structures with NMR Biological and biochemical research research of biological processes, biotechnology and biologics studies of biological macromolecules and biological activity determination of the structure of biomolecules

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