Funding

SECTION I: ESTIMATION OF COSTS

1 Taking into account the rest of the cost evaluation please provide an overall estimation of the total costs for full deployment/production of the R & D result.
… in terms of IPR protection 

The product is copyright protected as a service produced by the Lab of Petrochemical Technology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (no cost)

…in terms of product development 

The product is already in an advanced state of development

…in terms of mass production 

For the industrialization of the product and start of mass production the employment of 2 chemical engineers could be sufficient (around 50-80000 €/year)

… in terms of marketingThe market is scattered and global. The marketing costs involve promotion actions to users and should be around 10 000 € per year, for leaflets, advertising in magazines and web sites, participation in exhibitions, testimonies, conferences and show events.
2 Based on the above assessment as well as the marketing information please provide the correct estimation of the price for R&D product in correlation with costs (€)
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Fixed costs 20000 25000 35000 35000 35000
Personnel 50000 60000 80000 80000 80000
Other running costs 10000 10000 15000 15000 15000
Marketing costs 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000
TOTAL EXPECTED COSTS 90000 105000 140000 140000 140000
Price per Unit 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000
Type of Unit 1tone of the adsorbent material
Number of Units 25 35 40 40 40
TOTAL Expected Revenues 125000 175000 200000 200000 200000
CASH FLOW REQUIRED (REVENUES-COSTS)
TOTAL CAPITAL required for five years

SECTION 2: QUALITATIVE FACTORS

3 Dimension of identified target groups
Considering a target of 1500  plants, i.e. about 50% of the number of electrochemical plants globally, targeting probably to a specific geographical area (e.g. Asia) we assume that the market finally gained is 180 units, thus meaning about 12% of the target market. However, the size of the market is growing rapidly, especially in Asia, which is translated with larger sales potential.
4 Evaluation of financial Risks for R&D result
The product is impressively efficient but new to the market and thus there is a slight possibility that the market might not be mature enough to accept it. Furthermore, the geographical diversity of the users is an obvious obstacle to the product’s promotion. Therefore, assuming that sales during the first year is an unachievable goal, the marketing costs, that is 10 000 € , constitute the financial risks for the product.

SECTION 3: IDENTIFICATION OF FINANCING SOURCES

After evaluating all the above mentioned criteria, please tick the best financing source for the achievement of R&D result (i.e. own capitals, banking credits, venture capital, business angels, etc

1. European Funding 

Define relevance of the product with the following potential funding sources and comment

-  EUREKA’s Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises. 

- INTERREG IVC Programme provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe and lasts from 2007-2013. The overall objective of the INTERREG IVC Programme is to improve the effectiveness of regional policies and instruments. The areas of support are innovation, environment and risk prevention.

2. National Funding
- National Strategic Reference Framework (ΕΣΠΑ) could be used for development as well as marketing costs 

- General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)

3. Private funding
- Personal capital 

-  Joint venture with potential investor

SECTION 3: FINAL EVALUATION

This innovative product has the essential requirements to become a successful entrepreneurial activity, with significant growth rates and a good return on risk capital. The creation of a spin-off, based on joint agreement for technology, licensing and market exploitation, is under consideration although a joint venture with a private investor would be much appreciated. Finally, due to the fact that the potential market is very extensive and has a worldwide importance, it could be useful to consider the granting of licenses to reach more remote areas.

Decision of evaluation (Please keep only the appropriate)

  • The R&D has a high potential of exploitation
  • The R&D result needs minor revisions
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Description

The present industrial production of hydrogen, based on fossil fuels, contributes in green-house gas ( CO2) emissions and in wasteful energy consumption. Research has been recently focused to an alternative concept, which combines both reforming reaction and in situ CO2 separation in order to increase the efficiency of the current process. Such process is known as Sorption Enhanced Reforming (SER). The presence of a CO2 sorbent material in the reformer reactor boosts the feedstock (natural gas) conversion and leads to higher product quality. Development of a sorbent material with constant capture and regeneration ability is the key point for the economical and waste management efficiency of the process.

The scientific result focuses on the development of a CaO-based CO2 sorbent with high sorption capacity and long life-time for high temperature applications, such as SER. The optimum CO2 sorbent was found to be CaO-Ca12Al14O33 (85-15 wt%). The active component of the material is CaO while Ca12Al14O33 provides a stable framework inhibiting deactivation of CaO.

A Scanning Electron Microscopy, SEM, study of CaO-Ca12Al14O33 (85:15) revealed that this sorbent material can be visualized as consisting of a number of small grains (Fig 1). The macropores surrounding these grains facilitate the gas diffusion to the various grains.

Fig 1. SEM micrograph of the CO2 sorbent material CaO-Ca12Al14O33 (85:15)

 

X-ray Diffraction, XRD, was also employed to study the crystal phases which are present in this new sorbent material. The XRD pattern is shown in Figure 2. All characteristic peaks of CaO (2θ = 32.2, 37.35, 53.85, 64.15, 67.3) and Ca12Al14O33 (2θ = 33.41, 41.21, 55.22, 57.52) were clearly detected. The absenceof any other Ca-Al mixed phases or hydrated mixed structures proved the formation of the desired CaO-Ca12Al14O33.

Fig 2. XRD pattern of the CO2 sorbent material CaO-Ca12Al14O33 (85:15)

The concept of Sorption Enhanced Reforming,SER, is based on Le Chatelier’s principle, according to which the conversion of reactants to products and the rate of the forward reaction in an equilibrium controlled reaction can be increased by selectively removing some of the reaction products from the reaction zone.

In SER this principle is applied by using a CO2 sorbent (e.g. CaO) (reaction 3) in order to shift reaction (2) and consequently reaction (1) to hydrogen production side. As the sorbent is effectively consumed in reaction 3, the process is inherently dynamic in operation, requiring a regeneration step. In addition, the sorbent must maintain its activity through many cycles for the process to be economically viable.

 

CH4 + H2O -> CO + 3H2     ΔH298K  = 206,2kJ / mol (1)

CO + H2O – >CO2 + H2    ΔH298K = – 41,2 kJ / mol (2)

CaO + CO2 -> CaCO3   ΔH298K =- 178 kJ / mol  (3)

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