The Michel-Eugène Chevreul Institute leads the ARCHI-CM Project (Chemistry and Architectural Materials) which was selected and subsidized within the framework of the 2014-2020 State-Regional Plan Contract. It is a structuring project which is centered on the perimeter of the Institute’s laboratories (UCCS, UMET, LASIR and MSAP) and which mobilizes a significant part of the Chemistry and Materials sector (approximately 80 FTEs).
The ARCHI-CM project aims to respond to societal challenges in the fields of the bio-economy, the response to energy challenges and advanced materials. It is an interdisciplinary project, whose scientific specificity lies in the combination of architecture concepts both to produce innovative materials (functional block assemblies, multi-scale texturing, …) and to induce original chemical reactivities (confined environments, multifunctional catalysts, …).
The ARCHI-CM project is articulated in 3 work programs (WP) focused on the challenges it addresses:
The objective of the WP1
of the ARCHI-CM project is to implement the original scientific concept of reaction and materials architecture (here essentially catalytic) in order to achieve significant advances in the field of bio-economy. The establishment of biorefineries based on local resources will provide new sources of economic activity to rural areas, thus creating specialized jobs in these areas. This is typically the case of the Hauts-de-France region with its strong agricultural potential, which would be strengthened by the implementation of new technologies.
The WP1 work program is based on an asset of international stature both in the scientific field (catalytic valorization of biomass and biogas, production of materials from agro-resources, chemistry using biosourced synthons) and in partnership (European biorefinery project). A flagship action of this WP will be the UPCAT partnership platform, which aims at producing catalysts for biomass valorization. Unique on an international scale, it will be located in the direct technological continuity of REALCAT (Equipex) and the Catalysis Pilot Hall by placing itself directly downstream, and will make it possible to fill the missing link between the laboratory (gram) and industrial (hundred kilograms) stages.
The works proposed in WP2 are part of the energy transition approach described in particular in the program of the “Third Industrial Revolution”. They are part of the development of hydrogen and biogas sectors, particularly in the Hauts-de-France region as an energy vector. They concern the design of innovative materials, on the one hand for applications in high-temperature electrolysis type electrolyzers (SOEC) or solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), and on the other hand for the catalytic treatment of biogas. The objective is to propose new mixed conducting electrode materials with specific topology (1D, 2D, 3D, modular…) electrochemically active from medium temperatures (350°-500°C). We will also develop new anode materials for biogas supply in higher temperature devices, resistant to sulfur and coke formation. The performance of such devices depends not only on their intrinsic properties but also on their shaping (porosity, microstructure, texturing). The ELCAMAT platform will allow the fine characterization of these new materials in relation to their electrochemical and/or catalytic properties.
The overall objective of WP3, which mobilizes multidisciplinary skills, is to design advanced functional materials with adjustable properties and performances according to the targeted applications. The concepts of materials architecture (arrangement of elementary bricks) are implemented by original elaboration and transformation methods, in close relation with their properties and performances. The support of advanced high-level characterization techniques is an essential element of this WP. The use of multi-scale and multi-physics predictive modeling will also be a guiding and transversal axis of the approach. The targeted materials mainly concern hybrid materials, nanomaterials, functional materials (intumescent, multiferroic, catalytic, self-healing, photo-functional, mechanical). In this WP3, we plan to set up a partnership platform (FIRE-RESIST) which will constitute a European reference center for the design and conception of industrial “fire retardant” solutions for multiple application sectors. It will bridge the gap between fundamental research and design on a lab scale (TRL 1 to 4) up to certification and industrial production (TRL 6 to 9).
These 3 complementary work programs are supported by research projects of a scientific and technological nature, carried out by the project’s partner laboratories.
They are based on 3 platforms:
The ELCAMAT platform for ELaboration and advanced CAractérisation of MATERIALS planned within the framework of the ARCHI-CM project constitutes a transverse tool making available to all the actors involved in the various WP, new differentiating equipment allowing significant advances in the understanding of the fine structure of matter. These new characterization equipments further increase the potential of the Institute’s analytical platforms, thus reinforcing their visibility at the regional and national levels. The main investments will concern magnetic measurements, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, XPS, ultrafast spectroscopy, as well as multi-scale and multi-physics modeling. The ELCAMAT platform also concerns the creation of seven development platforms with high scientific and/or partnership potential. Some of these platforms are intended to become joint laboratories with partners from the socio-economic sector or future partnership platforms such as UPCAT or FIRE-RESIST. These development platforms concern the following themes: Detergency and formulation; Materials for energy; Chemistry for nuclear industries; High pressure materials; Advanced macromolecular synthesis; Reactive plastics; Innovative pigments..
- This project is co-financed by the European Union with the European Regional Development Fund.