FlexIble, predictive and Renewable Electricity powered electrochemical toolbox For a sustainable transition of the catalyst-based European chemicaL industrY
The FIREFLY project rises to the sustainable evolution of the catalyst-based chemical industry, towards its electrification and reduced third-party dependence on metals and fossil energy. The controversial sustainability challenges and opportunities in catalysts recycling/production and catalyzed chemical processes motivated the synergy of 16 partners proposing the FIREFLY concept, relying on the development of: i) Electro-driven technologies for metal recycling from spent, waste, and off-specification catalysts available in Europeâ€”including a modelling, optimization, and engineering approach; ii) Efficient integration of renewable electricity; iii) A digital tool for predictive decision-making; iv) Production of (electro)catalysts for innovative (electro)chemical processes that overcome traditional production associated with high operating conditions, greenhouse gas emissions, and lack of circularity. The 48-month project foresees 3 stages: i) The technologies involved in the concept will be developed to TRL4, accompanied by an integrated sustainability assessment that will support the selection of the most promising technology routes based on their environmental and techno-economic performance. ii) The selected flowsheets will form the FIREFLY process, in a small-scale pilot. They will be demonstrated at TRL6 in the predictive, RES powered, and flexible production of new metal-based (electro)catalysts from secondary resources as well as in the application of these outputs in innovative (electro)chemical processes of selected chemicals: ammonia and hydrogen peroxide (with current environmental and operational concerns), depolymerization of lignin and biomass processing for bio-based chemicals (in support of defossilization of the chemical industry). iii) The activities and results will be effectively communicated, disseminated, and exploited to a wide set of stakeholders.