New Materials for Building a Sustainable World

New Materials for Building a Sustainable World

25 September, Plant One, Rotterdam


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Leveraging the transformative powers of leading startups and established corporates: sustainable food production, circular chemical industry, next generation in energy storage.


Register for this event

Register for this event

General infoCapitalFestImpactFestEnergyFestDigital Health & MedTechSecurity & FinTechNew MaterialsBlockchainIndustry 4.0

General Information

25 September 2017

Rotterdam, Plant One

The best speakers, like:
William McDonough (‘Cradle to Cradle’)

Our challenges

Challenge 1

Sustainable food production and bio-economy

In the current food chain, a major part of the corp is wasted, either on the land, during processing, at the retail level or after consumption. The food industry wants to change over to a fully sustainable food chain where the full crop is used and all functionality of the crop is brought to value. Integral use means minimal processing, less separation and fractionation and retaining of nutrients in its natural matrix. This must lead to ‘green label’ products with high nutritious value and minimal footprints.

We therefore need startups which (want to) develop techniques to valorize the crop material to its full extend.  What cannot be used in the food chain should be valorized in chemicals, pulp and paper, building materials and as a last resort, energy.

Challenge 2

Circularity in the Chemical industry.

The chemical industry produces their products still mostly from fossil raw materials (natural gas, crude,..). The challenge is to create a chemical production chain without the use of fossils. We want to close the carbon cycle of the chemical industry. We therefore need to create chemical building blocks from waste streams like agricultural feedstocks, house hold waste and waste gases. We are looking broadly also towards integration of chains, gaining back heat and waste streams from the industry itself (minerals, salts, etc). Example could be the use of CO from the steel industry together with sustainably produced hydrogen for the production of chemical building blocks. The chemical products (e.g. polyolefins) could be used to compensate for the use of cokes in the steel industry, thereby closing the cycle. We need startups in a wide area to work closely with SME’s and corporates to make this happen.

Challenge 3

Next generation energy storage and transport materials

The great challenge in the new energy system is the storage and transport of (sustainably produced) energy. We foresee two major routes for energy storage in the future; via “e-fuels” and in the (compact) storage of heat. E-fuels are preferably solid or fluid materials such as metal energy carriers, hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, formic acid etc. These materials can be stored and transported over long distances and can also be fully integrated in the chemical industry. Heat storage should be compact and preferably be able to deliver high temperature heat. This area is a relatively unexplored area for startups and new technologies are about to sprout from University labs.

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