Challenges and objective
By pooling their expertise in applied research, the nine Fraunhofer institutes cooperating in the lighthouse project “ShaPID” aim to provide targeted support to the chemical industry in its efforts to achieve challenging sustainability goals and, at the same time, to intensify the institutes’ R&D ties with one of the most innovative industrial sectors.
The lighthouse project aims to demonstrate that sustainable, green chemistry can be achieved through practical technological innovations in process intensification and digitalization. To this end, new technology developments in four complementary areas are being pursued on the basis of the internationally recognized “12 Principles of Green Chemistry":
- Synthesis, reaction technology and catalysis
- Continuous process technology and process engineering
- Modeling, simulation and process optimization
- Digitalization and automation
The application of these new methodologies and technologies will be demonstrated in practice on a technical scale using three reference processes that address different aspects of chemistry with high R&D intensity and added value:
- “Green Plastics”: from CO2 and biogenic raw materials to new polymers
- “Green Monomers”: energy-efficient syntheses of monomers from non-fossil raw materials
- “Efficient Building Blocks”: use of highly reactive compounds for atom-efficient synthesis
All processes follow the path from green raw materials to green process engineering and green products. Process development is closely accompanied by sustainability assessment and system analysis as well as REACh assessment and (eco)toxicity prediction.
The overarching strategic goal of the lighthouse project ShaPID is to establish Fraunhofer as a systemic research partner for green sustainable chemistry and to offer transfer services for methods and technologies of process intensification and digitalization from a single source. In this way, companies in the chemical industry and related sectors can receive targeted support in the realization of green and efficient chemical processes.