Circular Economy Forum: Challenge of plastic recycling

On the 27th of September, the Circular Economy Forum: Challenge of plastic recycling organized by the Institute for the Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León (ICE) in collaboration with the Cidaut Foundation was celebratedin the facilities of the Cidaut Foundation. This Forum was inaugurated by the Councillor for Economy and Finance of the Region of Castilla y León (Spain), Mr. Carlos Javier Fernández Carriedo, and the president of Cidaut Foundation, Mr. José Oliveri Gandarillas, who highlighted the importance of the transition towards a productive model of circular economy in the plastic sector.

With the aim of incorporating the circular economy as a key element to promote the change towards a model of sustainable development and focused on plastic materials in particular, the Forum addressed this aspect from a double point of view: first, trends in R&D related to the recycling of plastics was analyzed, and on the other hand, the latest developments in the regulatory context were addressed. This Circular Economy Forum had the following talks:

– ‘Future trends and challenges to optimize the quality of plastic recycling and its circularity’ presented by researchers from CIB-CSIC and ICTP-CSIC.

– ‘Panel Discussion: R&D as a key in the transition to the circular economy’ moderated by CyLTV and composed of the four partners of the Osiris Network -GAIKER, AIMPLAS, AITEX and CIDAUT- and the University of Valladolid (CELLMAT laboratory).

– ‘The new regulations: Challenges and solutions for the Circular Economy’ presented by CICLOPLAST.

– ‘Panel Discussion: Challenges and Opportunities for the different sectors in the new scenario of the recycling and circularity’ moderated by ECOEMBES and composed by the representatives of the following companies: Viscofan, SABIC, SOSTENPLAS and Grupo Antolin.

– ‘Case of successes’ presented by Mr. Antón Fernández, CEO of PolyNext-Naeco.

– ‘Roadmap for the Circular Economy in Castilla y León’ presented by the Natural Heritage Foundation of Castilla y León.

Finally, the event was closed by the Director of Cidaut Foundation, Mr. Juan Carlos Merino Senovilla, and after that the attendees were able to visit the facilities of Cidaut Foundation.

ESTELLA project kick-off meeting

Last July 5th, the ESTELLA consortium met in Brussels to kick-off the project. All partners presented their role and they discussed the details of the implementation of the work plan for the following 42 months of research.

The ESTELLA is an ambitious initiative that proposes an innovative solution to improve the recyclability of poorly recyclable materials, specifically thermoset composites. This will involve the design of novel thermosetting biocomposites (epoxy and natural fibres) with inherent recyclability. This will be achieved thanks to the introduction of the Covalent Adaptive Network (CAN) that will allow the resin (reprocessed or repolymerised into new products) and fibres to be recycled.  The recyclability of the composites developed will be evaluated by means of current mechanical, chemical and biological processes adapted to these new materials. And they will be validated through the manufacture of prototypes for the construction and leisure/mobility sectors.

The ESTELLA consortium has 13 partners from 9 European countries as well as Slovenia, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Germany and Norway. Soon our project website will be up and running!

Periodic review meeting of the CREATOR project

The CREATOR consortium, consisting of 17 partners, met in Belgium last September with the Project Officer to analyze the progress of the project. CREATOR focuses on the development and demonstration of processes to remove hazardous bromine-containing flame retardants, which are already banned, from waste streams by means of so-called continuous extraction.

A lot of efforts have been devoted in the CREATOR project to the recycling and reuse of thermoplastic waste. And the review meeting was a good occasion to show the current status of all tasks performed during the project and to present the next steps until the end of the project in May 2022.

In the CREATOR project, much effort has been devoted to the recycling and reuse of these hazardous thermoplastic wastes. And the review meeting was a good occasion to show all the achievements made during the project and to present the next steps until the end of the project in May 2022.

This meeting has also served to present different events that are being prepared in the framework of the project: such as the Boot Camp in Sustainability & Plastic Recycling for students that will be held from 5-7 October in Hamburg (Germany) (more info: https://www.the-klu.org/event-pages/boot-camp-in-sustainability-plastic-recycling/), or the Innovation Forum 4 Plastics that will take place from 13-14 October in Mallorca (Spain) (more info: https://h2020innovationforum.com/).

Cidaut and Valladolid City Councill will test connectivity solutions for intelligent transport applications

In the frame of Urbane, Horizon Europe Project, the research center and the municipality will collaborate to advance in the integration of zero emission vehicles and intelligent transport solutions for advanced last mile delivery solutions. The project has started on September 2022, and will last for 42 months. In this time, smart urban electric vehicles, vans and bikes, will be used to develop advanced last mile solutions based on connectivity solutions, protection of vulnerable road users and energy harvesting through photovoltaic panels integrated in the vehicles.

In relation to connectivity, the vehicles will be able to “talk” with all the elements around to reduce their carbon footprint, V2X. In the case of vehicle to vehicle communication, V2V, the vehicles of the fleet will inform each other about the load capacity available and the final destination, to optimize the number of vehicles moving to the different zones of the city, In the case of vehicle to infrastructure, V2I, the traffic lights will inform the vehicles about the time to green or to red, and the vehicles will be able to optimize their speed in order to minimize the electricity consumption. In the case of vehicle to customer, V2C, the vehicle will inform the customer about the parcel delivery, and if the customer accepts it will be possible to remotely open the trunk of his/her vehicle to deliver the parcel.

In relation to vulnerable road users protection, it is a fact that electric vehicles are less noisy and then more dangerous for vulnerable road users, mainly taking into account that last mile logistics may be concentrated in center areas of the cities. For this reason, the vehicles used in the project are equipped with artificial intelligence that allows the detection and recognition of vulnerable road users, advising the driver or automatically braking the vehicle in the case of risky situations.

Energy harvesting will be made thanks to the installation of advanced photovoltaics cells in the surface of the vehicles, laboratory tests, made previously to the project, have demonstrated that in the case of the van, and under ideal conditions, 25 km of totally free emissions can be run. One of the aims of the project is to demonstrate the performance in real traffic conditions.

The research leading to these results has received funding from Horizon Europe Programme under grant agreement nº 101069782.

Active and passive solutions joint to respond smartly to crash events.

In the frame of Salient, Horizon Europe Project, Cidaut together with eleven partners will search for an innovative solution of the vehicle structure in the event of a crash. The front end structure of the vehicle will be equipped with intelligent sensors, whose first mission will be to advise the ADAS of the vehicle to avoid the impact, and in case this is not possible, the second mission will be to inform the structure of the vehicle about the kind of impact, the direction and the speed. According to this information, the solution developed in the project will modify the behavior of the component in charge of the energy absorption in order to optimize its behavior.

To achieve this innovative result, the consortium will develop new materials, based on advanced composites, aluminium or hybrid combinations on both. The project covers all the steps from the material characterization to the final validation test, where Cidaut will use its facilities to perform the real crashes that will demonstrate and validate the effectiveness of the solution.

Salient is a 36 months project that started on September 2022. CTAG, as project coordinator, hosted the kick off meeting at the headquarters in O Porriño. The twelve partners were present in the meeting enjoying the opportunity to celebrate face to face meetings, and taking advantage of the occasion to fix the next steps and milestones of the project.

The research leading to these results has received funding from Horizon Europe Programme under grant agreement nº101069600.

CIDAUT shows at iENER’22 its advances in Digital Twin as a tool for improving energy efficiency.

On 6 and 7 July 2022, the 3rd International Energy Engineering Congress (iENER’22) took place at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau site in Barcelona. The iENER, organised by the AEE Spain Chapter, is a congress that explores all areas of the field of energy engineering to help commercial, industrial and institutional energy users to establish a clear and optimal path towards the optimisation of installations and sustainability.

Within this energy sector forum, José Ignacio Domínguez Carrero, head of projects in the Energy area of CIDAUT, showed its progress in the application of the Digital Twin concept for the improvement of energy efficiency in production processes.

Thanks to the TEEPP project “Research in Innovative Technologies for the optimisation of Energy Efficiency in Production Processes”, the research carried out by CIDAUT for the specific case of induction furnaces for melting metals, has demonstrated that the Digital Twin is a technology of great interest and application capacity for the continuous improvement in energy efficiency. Furthermore, the continuous digitalisation of production processes makes it increasingly more affordable to implement this Digital Twin technology, which is enriched with the hybridisation of digital models with phenomenological models, allowing a continuous learning process of the production process.

The TEEPP project is a project co-financed by the Instituto para la Competitividad Empresarial de Castilla y León (ICE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Thematic Objective 1, which aims to promote technological development, innovation and quality research.

https://www.congresoiener.com/

https://teepp.es/

CIDAUT renews its participation in the Steering Group of the new Spanish Hydrogen Technology Platform.

In the process of growth of the interest on hydrogen technologies sector in Spain, the Spanish Hydrogen Technology Platform PTEH2 (old Spanish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform PTEHPC) is in a process of adaptation to these new times in order to provide valuable content. With this aim, the mission and objectives of PTEH2, as well as its structure, Working Groups and Internal Regulations have been reformulated.

Within this process, CIDAUT, as a technology centre linked to hydrogen technologies for more than 20 years, has been actively involved by renewing its participation in the Steering Group and acting as coordinator and vice-coordinator of the Working Groups on hydrogen use in mobility and use in industry, respectively.

CIDAUT will also work to ensure that PTEH2 achieves its three general objectives:

1. To be a forum of scientific-technical knowledge of reference: Promoting the exchange and dissemination of accessible, rigorous, public and independent R+D+i on the hydrogen sector.

2. To be a link between the Public Administrations and R+D+i: Consulting the Administration and national representatives based on the interests of the science-technology-innovation network and the keys to the short-medium term technological strategy.

3. To be a promoter of national and international cooperation: Coordinating the different stakeholders, establishing relationships with related sectors and proposing alliances and joint strategies.

The new corporate image and the changes approved and ratified at the General Assembly will soon be disseminated.

http://www.ptehpc.org/

CIDAUT has led the organization of a meeting to analyze the opportunities of the strategic project for the recovery and economic transformation (PERTE) of the aerospace sector.

On 28 june 2022 the innovation ecosystem of the aerospace sector of Castilla y Leon met place in León Technological Park (Leon, Spain) to analyze the opportunities of the strategic project for the recovery and economic transformation (PERTE) of the aerospace sector

Aerospace Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE), is a public-private collaboration instrument to boost science and innovation in the aerospace field with the aim of responding to the challenges of the sector, such as climate change, global security and digital transition. Thanks to this strategic project, public administrations, companies and R&D&I centers will have the opportunity to work in coordination to strengthen the capabilities of the aeronautical and space industry, promoting the development and implementation of innovative technologies, including technologies that support the development of the zero-emission aircraft. The Aerospace PERTE also aims to strengthen Spain’s position in the space sector with initiatives such as the creation of the Spanish Space Agency, which will establish new mechanisms to coordinate space activities at the national level and Spanish participation in international programs.

Within this framework, last Monday 28th of June took place in the Leon Technological Park (León, Spain) an important event which brought together a broad representation of Castilla y León´s innovation ecosystem of the aerospace sector. This event was organized by CIDAUT Foundation and CTME in cooperation with Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León (ICE) under the training and support Program for R&D Business Centr@Tec.

The official opening of this event was carried out by Mr. Carlos Javier Fernández Carriedo (Councilor for Economy and Treasury of the Regional Government of Castilla y León), Mrs. Teresa Riesgo (President of the Center for Industrial Technological Development CDTI and Secretary General of Innovation of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain), Mr. Joaquín Barreiro García (Director of the Faculty of Industrial, Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering at the University of León) and Mr. José Antonio Diez (Mayor of León).

Next, Mr. Roberto Trigo Martínez (Head of the Department of Large Scientific Facilities and Dual Programs at CDTI) and Mr. Vicente Giner Herrera (Responsible for Telecommunications Programs in the Space Department of CDTI) showed the Aerospace PERTE as a strategic project for the recovery and economic transformation of the national aerospace sector, deepening both in the aeronautical pillar (Aeronautical Technological Program – PTA) as in the space pillar.

The final event proceeded with a discussion panel composed by a representation of Castilla y León´s innovation ecosystem of the aerospace sector: Mr. Ignacio Fernández Baragaño (Communication and Institutional Relations Manager of Grupo Aciturri Aeronáutica), Mrs. Pilar Rodríguez (Head of Capgemini Market Strategy and Innovation Solutions), Mr. Jesús Gonzalo (Aerospace Engineering Area of the University of León), Mr. Carlos Bernabéu (CEO of Arborea Intellbird), Mr. Víctor Montero (Business & Operations Director of B2Space), Mr. Óscar González Espadín  (Head of the Center for Special Environmental Tests of INTA), Mr. Raul de Saja (Manager of the Office for research and technology transfer of CTME) and Mr. Álvaro Villarino Rodríguez (R&D Project Manager at the innovation management departmentof CIDAUT Fundation). This discussion panel addressed issues related to Aerospace PERTE, environmental challenges facing the sector, training needs, R&D challenges, possibilities to generate synergies between the different stakeholders, etc.

Finally, the event was closed with the invitation to the attendees to participate in the next workshops and events organized under the training and support Program for R&D Business Centr@Tec.

CIDAUT participates in the most relevant Hydrogen event in Spain: EHEC 2022

Last May 18th, 19th and 20th, the most relevant European Hydrogen Conference took place in the Duques de Pastrana Complex, in Madrid: European Hydrogen Energy Conference (EHEC 2022)

The European Hydrogen Conference EHEC 2022 brought together more than 1,100 visitors from 40 countries who, for three days, shared and contributed knowledge, technological advances and presented new projects and research related to hydrogen technologies. This edition of EHEC 2022 gathered renowned professionals and major companies in four plenary sessions, 36 parallel sessions and 70 poster sessions. Institutional representatives such as the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, and the Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, also took part in the Congress. Teresa Ribera stressed that the national target for 2030 is aligned with the European Union’s strategy and welcomed the approval of the Repower EU package of measures. The President of the Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, stressed the need to accelerate the consolidation of the hydrogen economy. She insisted on the need to make progress in the energy transition by cooperating with industry and giving it the necessary visibility. In this respect, she underlined Spain’s fundamental role in the sector, highlighting that 20% of all new green hydrogen projects announced in the world were in Spain.

On this occasion, several members of CIDAUT participated in the different events organised. Miguel Castaños presented CIDAUT’s advances on “Multizone thermodynamic model to design piston compressors for hydrogen at high pressures” and Elena Castilla presented on “Analysis of the integration of bioethanol production plants with bioethanol steam reforming processes to produce hydrogen”. CIDAUT also contributed with a poster by Marcos Sánchez where he illustrated on “Air temperature effect in steady state regime ammonia combustion by diffusion”. Finally, Jose Ignacio Dominguez and Henar Olmedo participated in the Side Event organised by the Spanish Hydrogen Technology Platform.

The organisers of EHEC 2022 say goodbye until the next edition, which is expected to be held in Bilbao in 2024, where CIDAUT will once again be presenting its advances and developments. 

CIDAUT is working on the development of a digital twin to fight against COVID-19 pandemic

In the midst of the seventh wave of COVID-19, intelligence technologies such as big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and deep learning have become more relevant. This pandemic, as the most important of our century, has shown that it is possible to fight against the spread of disease with the use of technology. By means of the preceding tools, we are now able to process massive and unstructured data and identify patterns and significant changes that are critical to attack the disease. Aware of this and at the forefront of technology, Cidaut is working on the development of a Digital Twin (DT) to fight against whatever infectious disease. The innovation of this work lies in transferring the epidemic prevention and control situation in the real space to the virtual space.

Taking the above into account, the process has started by defining a number of blueprints (strategies to mitigate the pandemic) in order to establish how the DT will control the situation.  This has been done with the help of several technological companies from different European countries. In total, 16 strategies have been defined and the work is now underway on how to integrate them into the DT.

Part of the work done to date can be seen in the image attached, which would not have been possible without European Union funding within the framework of Green Deal and the project PROBONO (GA#101037075).