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NICKEFFECT aims to develop novel ferromagnetic Ni-based coating materials to replace the scarce and costly Platinum and ensure high efficiency in key applications.

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Author: Marina Domingas

On May 4th 2023, the NOUVEAU and NICKEFFECT projects, two initiatives that are leading examples of innovation and research in sustainable materials with a focus on industrial applications, hosted a joint webinar. The webinar was a unique opportunity for the attendees to gain insights into the two projects, their goals and the impact they aim to achieve with their collaboration. It counted with the participation of experts in the field, the project coordinators and also had a dedicated Q&A session.   Nerea Bilbao, Project Adviser for HADEA started by giving an overview of how the two projects were created under the umbrella of the Horizon Europe programme.     "With Horizon Europe, we step up and ambition for a sustainable future. The programme will maximise its impact by strengthening our scientific and technological bases, boosting our innovation capacity, driving the green and digital transitions and supporting and inclusive recovery." - Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research,...

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The NICKEFFECT project has identified an opportunity to replace platinum group metals in key applications such as electrolysers fuel cell catalysts and magneto-electronic devices. The proposed alternative is based on nickel (Ni), an earth-abundant element with a ferromagnetic character.   Platinum group metals have unique characteristics (unreactive, resistant to corrosion, stable at high temperatures) that make them indispensable in different strategic sectors such as renewable energy, electric mobility and digital technologies. These properties make platinum group metals ideal as a catalyst for chemical and electrochemical reactions.   To replace platinum-coated electrodes by using a Nickel-based alternative, the electrodes should have a much higher active surface for reaching equivalent performance.  One way to achieve such an increased active surface is to create a porous micro-structure with a high surface-to-volume ratio. Indeed, the higher surface-to-volume ratio provided by the increased porosity will allow enhancing the catalytic performance or the Converse Magnetoelectric Effect (CME) in electronic devices....

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Electrocatalysis is a process that involves the acceleration of an electrochemical reaction by a catalyst at the electrode surface. The use of electrocatalysis is widespread in many applications, such as energy conversion, environmental remediation, chemical synthesis and many more. The development of efficient and cost-effective electrocatalysts requires a fundamental understanding of the underlying physical and chemical phenomena that govern the process, as well as the multiscale interactions between the catalyst, the electrolyte, and the electrode surface.   Electrodeposition is a common technique for the synthesis of electrocatalysts. The process involves the deposition of a metal or a compound onto a substrate using an electric current/potential. This technique can be used to control the morphology, composition, and structure of the electrocatalyst, which in turn affects its performance. On the other hand, both the electrodeposition and electrocatalysis processes are influenced by a multitude of physical and chemical phenomena, such as nucleation and growth, mass transport, chemical and...

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Electrodeposition is an old technique with a blooming present and promising future. Indeed, the first steps of electrodeposition can be traced back to around 1800. It is an electrochemical process that allows the deposition of solid deposits on the surface of conductive materials, also called substrates. Although metal oxides, semiconductors, polymers, and even metal-organic frameworks can be grown by electrodeposition, it is mostly utilised for the preparation of metals and metal alloys via cathodic electrodeposition. Electrodeposition (or electroplating as it is widely known in the metal plating industry) has evolved from an art to an exact science thanks to the number of applications electrodeposited metallic materials possess. This is in part due to the immense possibilities that electrodeposition offers in terms of material dimensionality (thin and thick layers, nanowires, nanotubes, nanoparticles, etc.) and the fact that the set-up is rather simple and the process works at room pressure and often at...

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Nickel is a versatile and essential catalyst in many chemical reactions. Its unique properties, including high reactivity, selectivity, and abundance, make it an attractive option for industrial- scale catalysis. From the refining of crude oil to the production of hydrogen, nickel catalysts play a vital role in many industries, driving progress towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.   Nickel catalysts are used in petroleum refining, where they help to break down complex hydrocarbons into simpler molecules that can be used to produce different chemicals, such as polyethylene, - a plastic used in various products, from bags to containers. Also, nickel catalysts are sometimes employed in the production of ammonia, methanol, and acetic acid.   One of the most important applications of nickel catalysts is in the production of hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is a clean and versatile fuel that can power fuel cells and combustion engines with zero emissions. Nickel catalysts are used in the production of...

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    The Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, is legally designated as the National Standardization Body of Spain. It is the national representative and member of the European (CEN and CENELEC), International (ISO and IEC) and Pan-American (COPANT) Standards Organizations, and a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).   Formally, it is a non-profit-making, private, independent and multisectoral organisation, recognised at National, European and International levels. Through its development of technical standards, UNE helps improve the quality, competitiveness and innovation of companies, products and services.   In NICKEFFECT, UNE will lead all the tasks and deliverables related to the creation of guidelines for standardization for the Industry.  ...

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  F6S Innovation drives technology growth with public funding programmes. They boost the growth and scaling of founders, startups, SMEs and other actors in the innovation ecosystem by managing public funded programmes. Opportunities include equity-free funding and value-driven services such as incubation and acceleration, mentoring, piloting, corporate matchmaking, soft-landing missions, and networking with investors. In public funded programmes, F6S often assumes the role of project coordinator, open call manager and support to third parties, and leader of communication, dissemination and exploitation.   In NICKEFFECT, F6S will lead the work package on dissemination, exploitation and guiding & standardization activities. More specifically they will be highly involved in creating a dissemination strategy, promoting awareness-raising activities and developing exploitation activities for NICKEFFECT.  ...

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      SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES develops and assembles innovative machines and systems for efficient thin-film coating and surface treatment processes, which are used worldwide in the Photovoltaics, Semiconductor, Medical Technology, Packaging, Glass & Automotive as well as Battery & Hydrogen markets. The company’s core competencies include various processes of coating technology, surface treatment as well as wet-chemical and thermal production processes. The focus is: Environmental awareness Efficient use of resources Avoidance of unnecessary CO2 pollution   SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES regards sustainability as an opportunity to position itself with innovative products that follow this spirit.   In NICKEFFECT, SINGULUS as a partner from the industrial and engineering sector will actively participate in most of the project tasks, playing a key role in the upscaling of project results and in the validation tasks. They will also be actively involved in the development of the new materials, as most interested in assessing the potentialities they can bring to their products, their technical feasibility,...

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Advent Technologies develops, manufactures, and assembles complete next-generation fuel cell systems, and the critical components for fuel cells in the renewable energy sector.    Advent has created highly efficient fuel cells that operate under extreme temperatures, humidity, and air quality performing in places no other energy solution can.  More importantly, Advent’s fuel cells are multi-fuel capable (hydrogen, e-methanol, e-fuels, natural gas), meaning they work on hydrogen as it comes in many different forms eliminating the need for complex hydrogen infrastructures.  Because of this, it allows our fuel cells to be placed anywhere in the world and makes it possible to decarbonize the world today.   Advent is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with offices in California, Greece, Denmark, Germany, and the Philippines.   In NICKEFFECT, Advent will lead the work package about requirements updates and test plan definition. More specifically, they will be strongly involved in updating the technical specifications for the different use cases.  ...

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CEA-Liten is a major European research institute and a driving force behind the development of the sustainable energy technologies of the future. It is dedicated mainly to the energy transition. The institute is spearheading the EU’s efforts to limit dependency on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to meet these challenges, the Liten and its ecosystem innovate with the objective of creating value and transferring it to industry and the economic world.   In NICKEFFECT, CEA will be strongly involved in the materials' validation in relevant environments. Will also lead two tasks: (1) Qualitative chemical risk assessment, capsuling all the requirements to ensure that the health, the environmental and the goods' safety will be developed and implemented; and  (2) Strategies for recovering the used metals and reusing them in other applications. .  ...

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