The Eco-Innovation initiative rewards ideas for innovative products that protect the environment

The Eco-innovation initiative bridges the gap between research and the market. It helps good ideas for innovative products, services and processes that protect the environment become fully-fledged commercial prospects, ready for use by business and industry. 

One interesting project recognizes REACH requirements relating to Chromium due to come into force in a few years time:

  • The new product is intended for the aeronautic market, where it will be introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional Cr-based coatings, which provide optimum corrosion protection, but are highly toxic. 
  • The aim of ECOPROT is to industrialise a procedure for glass-like, environmentally-friendly and self-healing cerium-based coatings for corrosion protection of aluminium and magnesium alloys. 
  • The product will be introduced into the French aeronautic sector and will be further extended to address a wider geographical area and possibly other industrial sectors. 

Specific tasks will include

  • Optimization of the coating process for industrial applications (process scale-up)
  • Validation of the coated products according to the high standards of the aeronautic industry, in order to ensure replication of the process
  • Life cycle assessment of the entire process and the final product, taking into account all production stages, from raw materials to energy and water consumption, end-of-life, etc.
  • Business plan to ensure penetration of the final product into the French aeronautic market as a first step and then extend it to other geographical areas

Target objectives include

  • Cr-free, environmentally friendly and self-healing cerium-based coatings for corrosion protection of light weight alloys, for aeronautics application
  • Introduction of the product into the French aeronautic market
  • Extension to a wider geographical area and possible penetration of other industrial sectors (e.g. aerospace, automobile, building, etc.)
  • Improved possibilities of material recycling and easier treatment of the coated product at end-of-life
  • Overall reduction of environmental impact in terms of human health and ecosystem quality, mainly due to the elimination of chromium as an input material

 ECOPROT Consortium

  • Foundation Tecnalia Research and Innovation (Tecnalia), SPAIN (Coordinator)
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), SPAIN
  • Protection des Métaux SAS (PROMET), FRANCE
  • Quantis SAS (Quantis), FRANCE
  • International Project Management, Plating and Materials (iPM2), FRANCE

The project ECOPROT is within the Eco-Innovation Program, with is part of the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), managed by the EACI in close cooperation with the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General. Eco-Innovation includes any form of innovation aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of sustainable development. 

Source: CORDIS Wire 

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