Below are a number of case studies showcasing industry-academia collaborations.
Improved Catalyst, Improved Profit
Ingen GTL and the University of Aberdeen collaborated to create an improved catalyst. The iron catalyst reduces the energy needed for the high-temperature hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, an important industrial process. Thus, any improvement in its efficiency offers an opportunity to profit.
Phase Change Materials for Heat Batteries
Sunamp has developed new heat-storage technology using Phase-Change Materials (PCMs).
Sunamp heat batteries store heat and release it on demand to provide space heating and hot water. The technology makes innovative use of PCMs that can store and release heat as they change phase – in much the same way as hand warmers. However, the company faced problems with the poor performance of commercially available PCMs. This reduced the ability of the batteries to store and release heat after multiple charge-discharge cycles.
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Quality Control for the Hydrogen Supply Chain
Cascade Technologies is a manufacturer of high-technology laser-based gas analysers. Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) approached Cascade to identify areas for collaboration. Cascade was already investigating emerging markets in hydrogen fuel and carbon capture. Yet, they lacked contacts in the field. The ETP made introductions to relevant academic experts and businesses. Key among these were the Energy Materials Group at the University of St Andrews. It became clear that the emerging hydrogen-fuels sector was an important opportunity. Cascade’s gas analysers are ideal for quality assurance at fuel-cell vehicle refuelling stations. The ETP identified an open funding call from Innovate UK. Together, Cascade and St Andrews set about building a project consortium. The consortium included the National Physical Laboratory, BOC, and ITM Power. The consortium went on to develop a new gas analyser product.
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