Britest collaborates in €30 million F3 Factory project

Britest is to play a key role in a major new EU-funded project that aims to strengthen the European chemical industry's global technological leadership via faster and more flexible production methods.

Launched today at Bayer Technology Services headquarters in Leverkusen, the F3 Factory (Flexible, Fast, Future - Factory) is a €30 million collaborative project with €18 million of funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7). Key goals for the four year project are to:

  • design and develop a modular continuous plant (the F3 plant)
  • standardise processes and their interfaces
  • demonstrate the capabilities of the F3 Factory with existing products.

The F3 Factory consortium consists of 25 leading companies and research institutions from nine EU Member states that are crossing competitive boundaries to collaborate both on new technologies for process intensification and innovative new production concepts. Consortium members calculate that the European chemical industry could reduce costs by up to €4 billion euros by switching existing production facilities over to the F3 Factory concept.

Under the project, the efficiency and scalability of continuous plants are to be combined with the versatility of batch-wise operating plants. Holistic strategies for process intensification will be developed such that raw materials and energy (which represent between 70 to 80 percent of manufacturing costs) are employed more economically.

F3 Factory will also focus on the development of products such as solvent-free polymers, custom-tailored surfactants, high value-added building blocks and intermediates for pharmaceuticals and innovative products based on renewable materials. A supporting demonstration and development center will also be constructed at the CHEMPARK site in Leverkusen, Germany with work scheduled to be completed in late 2011.

Building on its experiences from previous EU collaborative projects such as IMPULSE and PILLs, Britest will lead two key work packages: 

  • WP3 Integrated Development and Design Methodologies.
  • WP9 Exploitation and Dissemination.  

Sue Fleet, Britest CEO said: The F3 Factory is one of the visionary projects described in the EU Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) Implementation Action Plan. Innovative process design and collaboration are a key focus of Britest’s activity and I am therefore delighted that we are able participate in this major project. We look forward to working with the consortium partners in delivering value to our members/collaborators through participation in the project.

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1st July 2009