FIREFLY [Horizon Europe]

FlexIble, predictive and Renewable Electricity-powered electrochemical toolbox For a sustainable transition of the catalyst-based European chemicaL industrY.

Project title: FlexIble, predictive and Renewable Electricity powered electrochemical toolbox For a sustainable transition of the catalyst-based European chemicaL industrY

Funding programme: Horizon Europe

Action type: Research & Innovation Action (RIA)

Duration: 01/01/2023 – 31/12/2026

Overview of the FIREFLY project

The FIREFLY project is the pioneering research initiative set off to drive the catalyst-based chemical industry towards electrification and to reduce external reliance on metals and fossil fuels. The FIREFLY concept uses electricity issued from RES to manufacture (electro)catalysts from secondary resources, in a new sustainable approach that will significantly reduce production costs. The initiative continues the path to circularity, introducing more profitable routes for the chemical industry by using mainly spent, waste, and off-specifications catalysts from different industrial applications.

By leveraging downstream synthesis of strategic metal-based (electro)catalysts, the FIREFLY project is expected to develop at TRL6 a sustainable process for the flexible, RES-powered electrodriven recycling of metals. This places the project in a prime position to set the foundations of the electrified chemical industry.

Project objectives

  1. Research, develop, and optimise to TRL4 innovative and sustainable electrified technologies for recycling metal-based catalysts and the downstream (electro)chemical synthesis of strategic (electro)catalysts.
  2. Research, develop, and optimise the powering by Renewable Energy Sources (RES) considering performance, environmental friendliness, and cost-efficiency in this electrification scenario.
  3. Research, develop, and optimise a machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) based digital tool to support the decision-making of the enhanced metal recycling and catalyst synthesis processes.
  4. Develop the modelling- and simulation-based engineering framework to support the understanding, innovation and optimisation of the design, operation, validation, and demonstration of the FIREFLY process.
  5. Demonstrate the TRL6 electrified FIREFLY process for the recycling of metal-based catalysts, simultaneous production of (electro)catalysts, and validation of the latter in selected (electro)chemical applications.
  6. Assess the integrated sustainability of the FIREFLY concept and benchmark it versus the State of the Art (SoA) recycling and production of catalysts and selected chemical manufacturing applications.
  7. Communicate, disseminate and exploit the activities and results of the project to interested stakeholders in the chemical value chain to ensure further research and innovation (R&I) and market uptake.

Our involvement in the FIREFLY project

Within the FIREFLY project, PNO Innovation Belgium leads the development and implementation of the dissemination, communication and clustering strategy. In addition, PNO is also a key contributor in shaping the stakeholders engagement and exploitation tactics of the project. A particular focus is placed on identifying and engaging with relevant stakeholders for further exploitation activities, as well as market and business analysis to support the consortium into bringing the technologies available.

More information

FIREFLY website