Modern polymer based catalysts and microflow conditions as key elements of innovations in fine chemical synthesis

Project: Research project

Project Details


POLYCAT provides an integrated, coherent and holistic approach utilizing novel polymer based nanoparticulate catalysts in pharmaceutical, crop protection and vitamin syntheses in conjunction with the enabling functions of micro process technology and “green” solvents such as water or ethyl lactate. This provides a discipline bridging approach between fine chemistry, catalysis and engineering. This will lead to the replacement of a number of chemical or microbiological reaction steps in fine chemical syntheses by catalytic ones using more active, selective and stable nanoparticulate catalysts. In addition, POLYCAT will lead to the development of novel chiral modifiers immobilized on the polymeric supports. Micro process technology provides testing under almost ideal processing conditions, with much improved heat management, with improved costing, at high data validity, at high process confidence, and with high certainty for scale-out. The industrial applicability is demonstrated by three selected examples by scale-out to the pilot scale. A multi-purpose, container-type plant infrastructure will integrate individual reaction and separation modules in block format, standardised basic logistics, process control, safety installations, and on-line analytics. As guidance during the whole development, holistic life cycle (LCA) and cost analyses will pave directions towards competitiveness and sustainability. The POLYCAT technologies have potential to reduce the environmental impact by 20% up to orders of magnitude: e.g. reduction of 40 Mt of green house gas emissions, 160 t acids (SO2-Eq.), 200 t nutrients (NOx-Eq.), 12 Mt toxic substances (1,4-DCB Eq.) and 350 t finite abiotic resources (antimony eq.). With (enantio)selectivity increases up to 25%, solvent reductions of 30-100%, and products cost decreases of about 10%, a midterm impact of 30-110 Mio Euro and longterm impact of 100-560 Mio Euro result.

Key findings

Nanotecnologie, materiale e produzione
Effective start/end date10/1/103/31/14