Research Fund Denmark grants millions for green transition

Monday 02 Nov 20


Cathrine Frandsen
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 67


Nini Pryds
Head of Section, Professor
DTU Energy
+45 46 77 57 52


Tejs Vegge
Professor, Head of Section
DTU Energy
+45 45 25 82 01
See press release from the Independent Research Fund Denmark describing all the supported projects.
17 green research projects at DTU receive a total of DKK 98 million from the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

The Independent Research Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 333 million to 65 research projects in the field of green conversion. The funds are intended to ensure new original ideas and research breakthroughs in the fields of climate, nature, and the environment.

The foundation received 452 applications from all parts of the Danish research world, and 65 projects made it through the eye of the needle—17 of them from DTU. The projects range widely from storing wind and solar energy and developing sustainable concrete to designing a road pricing system.

Three projects have each been awarded close to DKK 12 million.

Professor Cathrine Frandsen, DTU Physics, receives support for the project Electrified thermal water splitting by entropy-controlled materials design (E-T-Water):

In a fossil-free future, the most important sustainable energy sources—solar and wind—come in the form of electricity. However, these energy sources fluctuate over time, and it is therefore necessary to find solutions for storing energy in the form of chemicals and fuels to ensure a complete green transition. Furthermore, not everything can be electrified, and we must therefore still be able to produce the many chemical compounds currently produced from fossil resources.

Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is the first important step in almost all electrically powered production of fuels and chemicals. This can be done by electrolysis, but significant energy loss is still associated with this technology. This project will examine a new cyclical process in which the splitting of water is driven by electrified heating—either by resistance heating of the reactor or by induction.

At the same time, we will design materials that are able to split water and produce hydrogen and oxygen as a by-product when operating cyclically between two temperatures.

Professor Nini Pryds, DTU Energy, receives support for the project Powering Internet of Things with Ambient Solutions (PIloT):

The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered one of the five technologies that will change the world and create a huge market by 2025. To do so, however, it will take a breakthrough in microenergy harvesting and storage technologies to meet the growing need for autonomous wireless sensor nodes (WSN).

The PIloT project aims to power these IoT nodal points from ubiquitous heat and light sources using nano-enabled microenergy systems with a footprint of less than one cubic centimetre. Using groundbreaking concepts from the new Nanoionics and Iontronics disciplines that deal with the complex interaction between electrons and nanoscale ions, the project will develop a radically new family of solid microenergy sources capable of harvesting and storing energy at the same time.

Professor Tejs Vegge, DTU Energy, receives support for the DELIGHT project: DEep LearnIng Green cHemical caTalysis:

Nitrogenase enzymes are biological catalysts capable of converting nitrogen into ammonia at normal pressure and temperature. However, despite more than 100 years of intense research and three Nobel Prizes, humanity still relies on the so-called Haber-Bosch process which takes place at high pressure and high temperature to sustain an ever-growing global population.

No combination of experimental techniques and computer calculations has been able to capture the intricate dynamics of the complex interplay between the structure and properties of the catalyst and the enzyme. The DELIGHT project proposes a data-centred approach that is able to bridge electronic structural calculations, experiments, and machine learning.

This method will transform the ‘reverse engineering’ of biocatalysts and pave the way for the rapid discovery of green inorganic catalysts embedded in artificial machine learning-designed structures of ionic fluids, leading to improved activity, stability, and non-natural functionalities.

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