Prof. Dr. Ira Helsloot receives NWA Grant for research project into new plasma technology

Date of news: 20 June 2022

The transition to a sustainable society involves considerable challenges for the Dutch chemical industry. Large price reductions and safety considerations currently determine the industrial landscape. However, a roadmap to lead the industry through the sustainability transition, maintaining economic viability and, in any case, the existing safety level, does not exist. Why? There is no suitable technology yet.

That is why Prof. Dr. Ira Helsloot is examining and developing a Safe-By-Design approach for chemical products and processes in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University, and TU Delft. Ira Helsloot has received an NWA Grant for this.

The four-year research project 'Integral Safe and Sustainable-by-Design Plasma Process for Acrylonitrile Production (ISPA)' will contribute to an entirely new form of production of hazardous substances, such as fertilizers, plastics, and vaccine carrier proteins, through plasma technology. The new plasma process aims to enable small-scale, modular production naturally and safely. A proportional safety framework will be developed gradually during the project, with involvement of the authorities.

This research programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and NWO.