TU Delft to lead three STW Perspective projects
Technology foundation STW has given the green light to five major research projects for the development of innovative technologies. Three of these are to be led by TU Delft. They address the recovery of valuable materials from waste, new equipment to treat neurological conditions and the safe transportation of liquefied natural gas.
The five successful proposals have been selected for funding as part of the ‘Perspectives for the Top Sectors’ programme and will each receive an STW research grant of €2.2 to €4 million. Companies and other partners will provide additional investment totalling more than €8 million.
The three projects to be led by TU Delft are introduced below.
Innovative Magnetic Density Separation for the Optimal Use of Resources and Energy
Prof. P.C. Rem
It should be possible to recover more high-tech materials from waste flows, instead of always having to produce them anew from oil and ores. This project focuses upon the development of a generic recycling technology for such flows as discarded electronics and plastic packaging. Collectively, they contain more than a hundred high-tech materials, often in the form of fine structures like thin wires or foils.
The technology the researchers hope to create is based upon magnetic density separation (MDS), a special form of the sink-float technique in which particles of different materials accumulate at specific levels in a magnetic liquid, according to their density.
MDS is a cheap and energy-efficient method of separation, particularly suited to fine particles. It is also a rapidly developing technology. A partnership between a large group of universities, this project will take a multidisciplinary approach in efforts to optimise the use of MDS in the recovery of high-tech materials and so save energy.
NeuroCIMT: Neuromodulation by Continuous and Integrated Monitoring and Treatment to Improve Functional Outcome in Neurological Disorders
Prof. F.C.T. van der Helm
This project hopes to create new technologies for the accurate diagnosis and customised treatment of neurological conditions like strokes and MS, as well as sensory complaints such as hearing loss and chronic pain.
Using EEG and other techniques, the project team will try to find out more about the control function of the central nervous system. New methods are to be developed to produce detailed quantitative models for the location and timing of signals within the system. In so doing, the researchers will look for both similarities and differences between conditions affecting the auditory cortex, the pain and blood-pressure regulation systems and motor control. Ultimately, they hope that their thorough analyses will support patients in winning back their independence and quality of life.
This project has been established through close collaboration between universities, clinical partners and the private sector.
Sloshing of Liquefied Natural Gas (SLING)
Prof. M.L. Kaminski
Adopting liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its primary fuel could cut the transport industry’s carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 20 percent and improve environmental air quality. To achieve that, however, will require substantial investments in tanker vessels, supply facilities and filling stations. Not to mention the large-scale conversion of ships and lorries to run on LNG.
SLING is about developing the know-how needed for new tanker technologies which will significantly reduce shipping costs. The challenge in designing an ocean-going LNG tank is in predicting how the liquid inside will “slosh” as the ship moves about in the open sea. This can damage the tank and is so hazardous that it is hindering the widespread introduction of LNG.
This project will map the fuel’s highly complex sloshing behaviour in great detail. The researchers plan to develop new experiments, advanced measurement techniques and computer models in partnership with key players, large and small, in the LNG industry.