Exploring the properties of new catalytic reactors with structured conductive internals

INTENT project comes to an end

After more than 5 years of work, the INTENT project, which was hosted at the Politecnico di Milano’s Department of Energy and funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), has achieved its main objectives: to explore the properties of new catalytic reactors with structured conductive internals and to demonstrate their potential applications in the intensification of chemical processes that are crucial to the energy transition.

A catalytic reactor is an appliance in which chemical reactions occur in ways and at speeds that are valuable for industry, thanks to the use of special materials called catalysts. The INTENT research team, coordinated by Professor Enrico Tronconi, has achieved significant results in this field of research, which will help to create a future of cleaner and more sustainable energy.

The project has already had an important impact: 

  • the award of an ERC Proof of Concept Grant to the INSTANT project, which aims to utilise the results of INTENT for the industrialisation of an innovative compact reformer suitable to cogeneration systems (“combined heat and power”) for residential and small-scale uses;
  • the award of funding from the Ministry of Universities and Research to the projects BEATRICS (FARE) and PLUG-IN (PRIN 2020) on the basis of INTENT’s success;
  • the award of funding to the Horizon EU project EReTech and to an industry research project focussing on electrified methane reforming using the ohmic heating of structured catalysts, an innovative concept developed by INTENT;
  • the creation of a pilot plant at the Politecnico laboratories of the Bovisa campus with which to test INTENT’s new reactor concept in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis on a representative scale, a rarity in the academic field;
  • 25 scientific publications in the principal journals of the fields of Chemical Engineering, Energy and Catalysis (listed on the website), a patent and numerous invites to present the results of INTENT at international conferences.

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