Plastics recycling is a major current issue, making it possible to reduce the ecological and environmental impacts linked to their production and consumption. This involves developing specific recycling processes depending on the plastics. Present in great variety in all plastics, additives cause an issue in mechanical recycling (the most widely used recycling method): their presence and mixture results in poor quality recycled material. Some additives, which have become regulated, pollute the recycled material and prevent its further use.
Process efficiency in the field of energy and biomass conversion is a contemporary and urgent societal issue. Heterogeneous catalysis is a key enabling technology towards this goal. In that context, understanding catalysis at the molecular level for minimizing the use of rare and noble metal will contribute to make processes more environmentally friendly, i.e. by moving from supported nanoparticles to smaller clusters or isolated metal sites.
Catalytic processes have long been used regularly in academia and in various industries. One of the major objectives of catalysis today is to improve catalytic systems by combining the performance of homogeneous catalysis with the ease of implementation of heterogeneous catalysis.
Solid/liquid emulsions, known as Pickering emulsions, are an excellent means of preparing well-controlled batch liquid/solid/liquid media. These emulsions can then be transformed into catalytic micro-capsules with a well-controlled geometry.
To limit greenhouse gas emissions, IFPEN is developing new amine-based solvents for CO2 capture in fumes (thermal power stations, steelworks, cement factories…). These mainly contain CO2, water, N2 and O2 but also different impurities such as sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) at different concentrations depending on the emitter. In contact with these species, amines can undergo degradation, which leads to losses of amines and formation of volatile products which are potentially harmful to the environment.
To overcome challenges related to the energy area, IFP Energies nouvelles is now proposing a process to produce ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. A cocktail of enzymes produced by the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is used during the enzymatic hydrolysis step of this process. The genetic engineering of this fungus is one of the solutions that has allowed us to optimize the cost of this hydrolysis step in recent years. In the continuity of these studies, the question of the potential of secondary metabolites produced by this fungus must be asked today.
Plastics, which appeared more than a century ago, have gradually established themselves in a multitude of applications thanks to their interesting properties and their low cost. Nevertheless, their fate at the end of their life has become a major environmental and societal concern, and despite continuous developments in mechanical recycling, succeeding in recycling all plastic material remains a global challenge and is the subject of intense research efforts.
Plastic recycling is a major issue in the energy transition. These materials are widely used in many fields: packaging, automotive, household appliances, construction, agriculture, thus generating a significant amount of waste. Today, recycling is mainly done through mechanical recycling processes. The recycled plastic material can then sometimes be considered as "degraded" compared to equivalent virgin polymers in terms of intrinsic properties (purity, mechanical properties, etc.). Therefore, chemical recycling is seen as a beneficial alternative to mechanical recycling.
Adipic acid is considered as the most important dicarboxylic acid of global market. Its main application concerns the synthesis of polyamides-6,6, also called “Nylon”. Today, this chemical is obtained via a petrochemical process starting from cyclohexane oxidation. Therefore, there is a high interest in the development of new environmentally friendly synthetic pathways allowing us to prepare adipic acid starting from renewable sources, while keeping high values of productivity and avoiding the formation of pollutant side-products.