Two experiments to test graphene’s viability for space applications are to take place this autumn. The first experiment will observe if graphene-based coatings can improve efficiency in loop heat pipes, found in satellite cooling systems. The second will test how graphene could be used as a material for space sails. Both experiments are being carried out by the Graphene Flagship. Professor Jari Kinaret, director of the Graphene Flagship, said: “These two projects exemplify the two-fold character of the graphene flagship: the loop heat pipe project is targeting a specific application, while the light sail project is firmly linked to basic research and builds upon the unique combination of properties that only graphene can offer.” A large component of the loop heat pipe in satellites is the wick, typically constructed from porous metal. The experiment will see a number of wicks coated with different types of graphene-related materials to improve the heat pipes’ efficiency. The coated wicks will then be tested in a low-gravity parabolic flight. Lucia Lombardi, a PhD researcher, said: “The idea is to use graphene to improve the thermal conductivity and the capillary pressure by growing a sponge in the pores of the wicks.” The tests for space sails will be carried out by a group of students, who will use microgravity conditions in the ZARM Drop Tower based in Germany, to carry out their research. By shining laser light on suspended graphene-membranes, the researchers aim to measure how much thrust can be generated. Dr Andrea Ferrari, STO of the Graphene Flagship, said: “Space is the new frontier for the Graphene Flagship. These initial experiments will test the viability of graphene-enabled devices for space applications.” Both experiments will launch between 6-16 November. The post Graphene Flagship to test space applications appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The ‘ONE-FLOW’ project has received €4m in funding under the Horizon 2020 programme to develop environmentally friendly chemical reactions. Professor Dr Harald Gröger from the Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) and Chair of Organic Chemistry I of Bielefeld University, Germany, is the head of the ONE-FLOW sub-project. Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, is co-ordinating the ONE-FLOW project with eight partners. Gröger’s research team is working closely with Professor Dr Volker Hessel’s team from Eindhoven. Hessel is the project co-ordinator and an expert on micro-reaction technology and flow chemistry. Gröger said: “Because of the many stages in production, the current batch reactor-type vessel technology is particularly time-consuming. A further disadvantage is that work-up and isolation of intermediates lead to many waste products. Hence, the technology does not use raw materials efficiently. “After every stage in production, the intermediate is typically purified. This might require significant amounts of solvent that then become waste products. “The flow method offers a way to reduce resource requirements and save waste, thus making production not only economically more attractive but also more sustainable.” Gröger and his colleagues take their inspiration for the flow technology from Nature. In biological cells, chemical processes proceed concurrently and constantly as so-called ‘domino reactions’. “We are developing methods that will ensure that each reaction is shielded,” said Gröger. Gröger’s research team is specialised in the combination of bio- and chemo-catalysts. In Nature, biocatalysts are found in the form of enzymes. Chemocatalysts, in contrast, are developed artificially. “By combining chemo- and biocatalysts in a flow reactor, we want to efficiently produce pharmaceutically relevant products at room temperature and thereby produce them in a more sustainable and specific mode,” added Gröger. The post Environment project receives funding appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Hungarian government has put forth a resolution to nationalise and protect the land surrounding the recently discovered tomb of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The resolution also promises 144m HUF (~€48m), of which around two thirds will go toward continued field and laboratory research, with the remaining part to be spent on feasibility studies and planning. These new developments in funding are expected to enhance the economy of a small Hungarian town and provide opportunities to unearth new discoveries from the ruins of a 16th Century Ottoman settlement. The whereabouts of the tomb of Süleyman, who died before battle in the southern Hungarian town of Szigetvár, has been debated for centuries, shrouded in mystery and local legends. Following the Sultan’s death on 7 September 1566, the Grand Vizier arranged for his body to be transported to the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. However, because of the hot weather and long journey, the Sultan’s heart and organs were removed in Hungary, and were allegedly buried in a legendary golden casket beneath the tent where he died. Starting in 2013, a new initiative to locate the final resting place of Sultan Süleyman’s organs was funded by both the Turkish and Hungarian states, including the Turkish International Co-operation and Development Agency (TIKA), which sponsors social and cultural projects abroad. In December 2014, results of a survey by Dr Norbert Pap, professor of political and historical geography at the University of Pécs, revealed that a ruin near the town of Szigetvár was home to a building from the era of the sultan. With increased funding, and the nationalisation of approximately four hectares of land surrounding Sultan Süleyman’s tomb, the research plan has come under revision, Pap said. “Compared to the previous idea, the new plan aims to provide more extended, detailed and efficient research.” “The staff will be bigger and the examinations will be more extended and deeper in quality. We could apply high-tech remote sensing equipment,” Pap added. As the project enters a more mature period, the team has been invited by prestigious European universities to co-operate and present their research, including within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme. The post Resolution to nationalise land around Süleyman’s tomb appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
UK Start-up Entomics Biosystems has been awarded £900,000 (~€995,850) from Innovate UK to conduct research to investigate the effectiveness of insect-derived feeds for farmed salmon. Alongside two experienced partners – the University of Stirling, Scotland, and the University of Reading, UK – Cambridge-based Entomics is to conduct industrial research to improve and optimise their existing bioprocessing platform. There is currently increasing concern around the sustainability of the salmon aquaculture feed supply chain, with a growing industry trend of moving away from fishmeal, which is four times as expensive as plant-based proteins like soy. Insect meal has been demonstrated to be a promising nutritional alternative to fishmeal, yet there are concerns that it lacks some of the added functional benefits naturally found in fishmeal. Entomics’s solution is to introduce functional insect-derived protein feeds to the UK aquaculture market, using a novel insect post-processing technology. In addition to this latest grant funding, Entomics has been working on several other projects that are being supported by Innovate UK, the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument scheme, EIT Food KIC and the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. Matt McLaren, co-founder of Entomics, said: “We’ve been extremely lucky to have the support of Cambridge Judge Business School throughout our journey. The mentorship and coaching provided by the Accelerate Cambridge programme in particular has been vital to getting our business to its current stage, and the credibility of the Cambridge brand has allowed us to engage with some great academic and commercial partners.” The post Start-up receives funds for salmon insect feed appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
National police forces in Europe are seeking funding for research on how to tackle cybercrimes involving cryptocurrencies. According to an evaluation report released at the end of July, the Swedish Police Authority and its counterparts in Austria and Germany are preparing to bid for funding under the Horizon 2020 programme. Specifically, the funds would be sourced from Secure Societies, a sub-section of Horizon 2020 which focuses on cybercrime initiatives. Setting out the law enforcement agencies’ plans, the report stated: ‘At present, the Swedish Police are participating in a consortium with the [Federal Police Force] in Austria and its counterpart in Germany to prepare a bid for Secure Societies on virtual currencies and the Darknet.’ While the report failed to reveal the amounts to be solicited by the three police agencies, it highlighted the Internal Security Fund (ISF) – a European Commission funding pool with a total of €3.8bn allocated for member countries’ police forces over the seven years until 2020. The basic allocation for Sweden under this fund is currently €21m, according to the ISF. The post Police seek funding for cryptocurrency research appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
TC BioPharm (TCB) has received a €4m grant under the Horizon 2020 programme to advance its gamma-delta T (GDT) cell therapy for cancer. TCB said the grant would allow it to develop a ‘next-generation’ GDT cell therapy called OmnImmune®, using an allogeneic approach in which treatments could be manufactured using existing donor cells stored in a biobank. The company reasoned that an allogeneic ‘off-the-shelf’ approach would allow for the treatment of a larger target population of cancer sufferers than an autologous treatment. The allogeneic treatment would create a more reproducible product, having been ‘campaign-manufactured’ in bulk to contain costs. TCB said it plans to manufacture allogeneic cell banks during 2017–2018, with the aim of treating its first cancer patients with GDT early in 2019. Plans call for TCB to couple the treatment with its proprietary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) platform, through which GDT cells will be ‘supercharged’ to attack specific tumour types. At present, TCB said, it is working with Clinical Centres of Excellence to treat cancer patients across the UK, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oxford, Southampton, London, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester, Sheffield and Belfast. TCB chief executive Michael Leek, said: “I look forward to developing our novel allogeneic GDT cell therapies with clinical partners at trial sites in Prague, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. TCB COO Angela Scott added: “We are thrilled that H2020 funding has been awarded, allowing us to treat large numbers of cancer patients across the EU and in North America.” Headquartered in Scotland at the Pentlands Science Park, TCB has raised more than €25m in funding since it began operations in February 2014. The post TC BioPharm receives EU funding appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Environmental management and recycling company Aurelius believes in progressive sustainability and technology for a better world. Founded in 2014, our company’s name is a tribute to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who often looked to Nature for guidance and inspiration. Unlike many of his peers, Aurelius stood up for the needs of the public, his strong moral values and ethical stance led to openness, honesty and justice for the people. Aurelius Environmental seeks to exemplify these principles in all its operations. We aim to revolutionise the recycling industry not only through science, but also via ethical practice, sustainability and fairness for the local communities wherein we conduct our business. We have a vision. We believe in a fully sustainable business, where waste streams enter our processes and nothing but products leave, and where multiple recycling infrastructures complement each other – one stream’s waste being another stream’s in-feed. Our journey towards this vision begins here, with a technology poised to revolutionise the recycling of lead-acid batteries that is ready to provide the innovation this field has been desperately seeking. In partnership with Cambridge University, UK, we are pleased to introduce NUOVOpb, our zero-emissions, energy-yielding process for the recycling of lead. Where we are At Aurelius we have extensive knowledge of the waste and recycling industry. We have a proven track record as an established waste management business that accepts, processes and recycles over 5,000 tonnes of used lead-acid batteries per annum. By the end of 2017 our market share is forecast to be 15,000 tonnes. The principle technology, NUOVOpb, was invented and optimised by researchers at Cambridge University, with the intellectual property (IP) and knowhow having been exclusively licensed to Aurelius Environmental. Large-scale trials, those beyond laboratory-scale, have been carried out successfully by a multinational company in Germany. We are now building a UK pilot plant to industrialise NUOVOpb and the production of lead oxide. Our trial will involve a 350 tonne per annum in-feed which will be scaled to 10,000 tonnes per annum within a period of 12 months from the prototype launch. Our timescales, are as follows:  3-6 months for industrialisation (350 tonnes per annum in the UK);  6-12 months for product-to-market (stable supply of lead oxide); and  18-24 months for the production of 10,000 tonnes per annum in the UK. The recycling of lead is a colossal business. In 2013, global secondary lead production rose to 6.1 million tonnes (source: ILA). All the lead produced in the US is secondary lead, while in Europe it comprises 70% of the market. Lead-acid batteries are the primary application for all of this lead. In Europe and the US, almost 100% of used lead-acid batteries are recycled to afford the so-called ‘secondary lead’. This impressive statistic proves that lead is one of the most successfully recycled materials in the world, which is no surprise at all. Lead can be recycled indefinitely with no reduction in quality, and lead-acid batteries are known as the world’s most recycled consumer product (source: ECOBAT, BCI). Perfect for a circular economy, one would think, but there is a catch. The recycling of lead batteries via current methods produces ‘smelter smoke’ – a toxic mixture of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and often lead particles. It is ironic that lead recycling is motivated by a desire to achieve sustainability, and yet the recycling processes in use today are damaging the environment. The recycling of lead has come a long way, but it is not yet sustainable. Despite our success, smelting and pyrometallurgical plants pollute the atmosphere and the world we live in, consuming far more than they provide in terms of energy. But thanks to NUOVOpb, all this is about to change. Industry overview In monetary terms, the lead-acid battery commands the largest segment of the battery market. It is used in more than a billion petrol and diesel vehicles to start the engine and to power on-board electronics. Hybrid and electric vehicles also use these batteries to improve fuel efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions – but that’s not all; e-bikes, fork-lifts, milk vans, golf carts and other vehicles can be entirely battery-powered to completely eliminate harmful emissions. Standby power supplies are also dependent on the lead-acid battery. Indeed, most of the world’s fixed and mobile phone networks, IT infrastructures, hospitals, medical devices and more rely on these batteries for emergency power. They are even used in the renewable energy market to provide low-cost storage for the energy generated from solar and wind power. The lead-acid battery is the main application for lead with 60-70% of global consumption derived from the recycling of used batteries. On a global scale, consumption of lead exceeds 12 million tonnes per year, and growth rates are forecast to rise for decades to come, particularly in emerging markets. But therein lies the problem. Traditional pyrometallurgical plants are not only inefficient and damaging to the environment; they are economically unfeasible unless built to a certain capacity. This is because the capital costs for installing such plants are expensive – prohibitively expensive for local communities that tend to utilise ‘informal’ recycling methods, which are unregulated and damaging to communities via the escape of lead and the poisoning of residents. NUOVOpb – towards sustainable green recycling NUOVOpb uses refined mechanical separation and a patented hydrometallurgical process to afford a lead-oxide battery paste unlike any other. The key benefits offered by our process and product include: No harmful emissions – unlike smelting, our lead recycling chemistry does not release any gases harmful to the environment, which is a major step towards sustainability; Energy is a product of the reaction – the chemistry is highly exothermic, producing energy that can be fed back into the system or stored. Whereas smelting consumes anything from 2-10Kwh energy per kilogramme of battery recycled, our process consumes a mere 50Wh (roughly the same amount of energy that the battery produces); and Instead of only producing lead ingot, we produce ‘battery-ready’ lead oxide, which can be used to manufacture new batteries, meaning that the downstream re-processing of lead to lead oxide is avoided, leading to cost savings and a higher quality lead oxide. Due to the superior quality of our lead oxide, batteries made from our product can be at least 30% more efficient than regular lead-acid batteries. These key benefits deliver three important outcomes: We can produce a more efficient battery. Imagine a lead battery that is more efficient and cheaper to produce than a battery made from virgin materials. NUOVOpb makes this possible. We have the ability to control the physical parameters of our lead oxide, enabling us to produce a unique lead paste which is up to 30% more efficient than lead oxide produced directly from lead ingot. The result: we can make lighter, smaller and more efficient batteries; Low capital expenditure. We are economically viable with a much smaller processing capacity than a smelter. This allows us to be profitable in remote areas, and in developing or emerging countries where we can position facilities closer to the source of the waste batteries. We improve efficiency, lower transport costs and allow for economic and safe recycling anywhere in the world; and Economic advantage. For every 10,000 tonnes of batteries processed we expect to generate between $2.5m and $5m (~€2.2m and €4.4m) more gross profit than smelting, depending on the cost of the reagent, citric acid (Fig. 1). There are three NUOVOpb (reference Gaiapb in this graph) columns for high ($800/tonne), low ($400/tonne) and current reagent costs ($650/tonne). Economic advantage NUOVOpb is not just about sustainability – it is about adding value to the lead-acid battery closed loop recycling systems and, from an investment perspective, it is significantly more profitable than pyrometallurgy. For NUOVOpb, the largest cost is the reagent – citric acid, the price of which is known to vary. Historically, it has ranged from $400 to $800 per tonne. Securing a low-cost supply of the reagent will ensure maximum profit and stability for this project. If the reagent costs $800/tonne, we can generate ~$2.5m more than pyrometallurgy ($8.6m for pyrometallurgy, compared to $11.1m for NUOVOpb). For a process that has the capacity to generate roughly $12m per 10,000 tonne in-feed, these capital costs are low, and considering the other benefits of our technology – i.e. being environmentally friendly and able to produce a more efficient battery – one can see how NUOVOpb could revolutionise the industry. The capital expenditure graphs (Fig. 1, 2) are the result of work carried out by UK-based business management consultants Oakdene Hollins. The figures represent the cost of setting up, operating and maintaining the plants over a ten-year period, but are plotted as the yearly average cost within the same period. Technology Our technology is based on an ambient temperature hydrometallurgical process – replacing the comparatively hot, high-energy processes used in pyrometallurgy. The individual steps involved, carried out once the paste has been neutralised, are as follows: Leaching crystallisation Non-toxic carboxylic acids are added to the neutralised paste. Unlike other hydrometallurgical methods in development, our lead is not solubilised in the leachate and we do not use electro-winning. This is a significant advantage because electroextractions are expensive in terms of the energy cost and use of electricity. In our process, what follows is the crystallisation/precipitation of an organic precursor containing lead. The carboxylic acid used in this process is citric acid – a well-known material used in the foods, drinks and pharmaceuticals industries. It is safe, affordable and revolutionary for the recycling of lead. 2. Combustion/calcination The precursor is heated to 300-400°C to remove organics and release lead. These organics serve as fuel in the combustion process, thereby assisting the calcination process and lowering the energy cost. The decomposition liberates a mixture of metallic lead and lead oxide. The degree of oxidation depends upon the operating conditions. By varying the combustion/calcination conditions through our process controls, it is possible to control the ratio of Alpha and Beta forms of lead oxide produced. Most importantly, lead oxide is produced in nano-crystalline form. According to laboratory studies, this lead oxide is up to 30% more efficient than that produced by traditional methods, even from ultra-pure lead. In other words, Aurelius is not only low-cost and environmentally friendly; we eliminate the need for downstream re-processing of lead to lead oxide – a process that smelters cannot avoid. In addition to these notable advantages, we produce a lead oxide that is up to 30% more efficient than anything offered in the market today. 3. Lead-sulphate recovery Any residual lead sulphate (PbSO4) can be recovered in the calcined lead product in the form of a binder. Therefore, this recycling process does not result in the release of sulphur dioxide and other noxious gases. Other products, including lead sub-oxide and metal lead, can be obtained using the same procedure. At little extra cost the chemical composition of these products can be controlled. Importantly, this process works with both lead and lead alloys, although the latter require additional refining steps. Needless to say, our lead oxide can be used to manufacture new batteries without further processing. It is highly-pure, proven through laboratory testing, and test batteries made with this material are more efficient than primary lead-acid batteries. Target market Lead is a globally traded commodity with a worldwide market value in excess of $20bn. Yet most lead mines are becoming exhausted. Coupled with rising global demand, recycled lead makes up roughly 57% of all lead produced worldwide. There are no economic alternatives to lead batteries for starting, lighting and ignition in automotive applications, and lead-acid batteries continue to offer the cheapest and most reliable source of energy for many old, new and emerging technologies. Extremely high growth rates in lead consumption are forecast in emerging markets for decades to come. Yet capital costs for installing pyrometallurgical process plants with full environmental control for recycling lead are high. This leads to so-called ‘informal sector’ recycling, where the escape of lead to the environment causes pollution and poisoning of local communities. A new, environmentally friendly, low-capital cost process will have major global impact. Our technology can deliver this and so much more as it is more profitable than traditional smelting plants and produces superior, more efficient lead-acid batteries. At Aurelius Environmental, we seek to set up our own recycling facilities, but will also evaluate joint ventures and licensing arrangements. With our UK pilot plant due to open in 2017; we are paving the way for companies around the world to join us on our mission to deliver next-generation recycling – with corporate responsibility, sustainability and a brighter future for all.   Miles Freeman CEO Ingleside Alcester Road Birmingham B13 8PY   Athan Fox Technology Director St. John’s Innovation Centre Cowley Road Cambridge CB4 0WS The post Revolutionary recycling appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Jodrell Bank’s secondary radio telescope, located in Cheshire, UK, has been awarded Grade I listed status for its pioneering role in radio astronomy. The 38 metre Mark II radio telescope is the smaller of the two large dishes at the observatory site. The Lovell telescope – originally known as Mark I – was given the same status in 1988. Crispin Edwards, listing advisor at Historic England, said: “Jodrell Bank is a remarkable place where globally important discoveries were made that transformed radio astronomy and our understanding of the Universe.” Historic England said the listing celebrated the Cheshire observatory’s history and its impact on the world. Other buildings and structures at the site which have also played a pioneering role in the early stages of radio astronomy have been recognised. Four buildings and part of a converted ex-army radar antenna – the Searchlight Aerial – have been awarded Grade II listing. They include the Park Royal building, the Electrical Workshop, the Link Hut and the Control Building. Jodrell Bank Observatory has been pivotal to the development of new science, which involved capturing light at invisible radio wavelengths to “see” celestial objects that would otherwise be hidden. The site was bought by the University of Manchester in 1939 and was first used for radio astronomy in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell and his team. The Mark II telescope was built between 1962-64 to the specifications of a jointly developed design by Lovell and structural engineer Charles Husband. Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Professor Teresa Anderson, said: “Science is a hugely important bank of our cultural heritage and we are very pleased to see that recognised, and protected, with these new designations.” Jodrell Bank Observatory’s work in radio astronomy started soon after World War Two. The Cheshire facility also houses the headquarters for the multinational Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for its pre-construction phase. The SKA was awarded €5m from the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 in 2015 to advance some of its scientific activities. The post Jodrell Bank receives listed status appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Türk Telekom is playing a leading role in the development of the 5G technologies that will transform life and business operations in Turkey.  The Ankara-based communications company has said that the development of 5G technology is a strategic priority for the company. The goal of the regulatory body in Turkey is to launch 5G at the same time as the rest of the world. The development of 5G technology in Turkey is being initiated through subsidiary company Argela, with its extensive focus on research and development. Clear5G is a key project of Argela and has received the support of Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s research and innovation programme. With Clear5G, latency in data transmission at the in-plant automation site will be reduced to less than one millisecond. Türk Telecom’s 5G centre of excellence aims to establish Turkey as a technological producer rather than just a consumer. The centre will also host the development of domestic 5G technologies and the technologies that Turkey will require in its transition to 5G. In a 5G-operative world, devices are expected to be more connected to people through virtual and augmented reality. Customers will be able to use data download and online streaming services at higher capabilities. Nearly four million machines are in communication with each other in Turkey, and by 2020 this will grow to approximately eight million machines that are able to talk via the internet. Türk Telekom is working to set global standards for 5G technology, and has attracted international attention. The post Türk Telekom funds 5G futures appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The Horizon 2020-funded Propelair toilet uses an air pump to force waste out, substantially reducing water consumption. The technology means that the toilet only requires 1.5 litres of water per flush, a reduction of 84% compared to a typical conventional model. Propelair was recently awarded a €1.3m project grant under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Founder Garry Moore said that local UK water authority Thames Water were delivering hippos – a water saving device – to its customers, which they “would put in your toilet cistern to retain a litre of water so that you use less water to flush it. Having tried one, my toilet didn’t flush very well, it left stuff behind and I had to flush it two or three times. “I started thinking it was ridiculous that we use such a large amount of water to dispose of such a small amount of waste.” As well as saving water, the Propelair toilet it reduces the energy used in processing the waste and its sealed lid suppresses the spread of airborne contaminants that can be released when a normal toilet flushes. The bottom-end price for the toilet is £675 (~€755) plus VAT, and the company is currently working on a financing package that would allow customers to install the product effectively for free, paying only as savings begin to be made. In 2014, the company received a £2.6m (~€2.9m) funding round. Moore added that: “Many parts of the world have extreme water problems. Some of that is something governments are dealing with and we’ve had dialogue with some overseas governments. We’re in the process of growing our capability overseas by appointing partners.” The post Propelair cuts water consumption by 84% appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.