The European Research Council (ERC) has today announced the winners of its 2020 Advanced Grants competition. A total of 2,678 applicants submitted their proposals, of which 209 have been approved with an overall funding of 507 M€, which means a success rate of 7.8%.
Prof. David Serrano, Director of the IMDEA Energy Institute and Full Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rey Juan Carlos University, has been one of the successful grantees of the highly reputed ERC Advanced Grants. The research project to be developed, “Opening the pathway towards dendritic zeolites” (TODENZE), hosted by IMDEA Energy, will be running for 5 years with an ERC funding of about 2.4 M€.
Synthetic materials consisting of nano-dendritic structures have arisen a great interest of the scientific community during the last decade due to their singular and outstanding properties. On the other hand, zeolites represent a very relevant type of microporous materials with important industrial applications in different fields: oil refining, petrochemistry, fine chemicals, treatment of polluted effluents, etc. However, conventional zeolites suffer of strong limitations due to their small pore size, which strongly hinders the accessibility of bulky species.
In this context, TODENZE has been outlined as an ambitious project aimed at the development of zeolites with dendritic nano-structures, due to their huge potential for scientific, technological and industrial impacts, as they would be the basis for the design of novel materials with multifunctional properties. Achievement of the TODENZE goals will provide remarkable benefits in strategic areas such as environment, sustainable energy, circular economy and health. In particular, the dendritic zeolites to be developed will be explored in two relevant and very different applications: catalysts in complex reaction networks for the production of advanced biofuels and nanocarriers for combined drug/gene therapy.
TODENZE has been one of the eleven ERC Advanced grants awarded to Spanish host institutions and one of the nine grants awarded to Spanish grantees in the 2020 call. The ERC grant recognizes the ground-breaking nature of the scientific project and the excellent scientific-track record and leading capacity of the Principal Investigator.