Research partners


A strong consortium!


CARENA’s challenging objectives will be reached thanks to a strong multidisciplinary consortium of 19 partners with high-level expertise from all over Europe. First-class research groups with know-how in catalysis and membrane technology are working hand in hand with innovative industrial companies whose expertise covers end-use, process development and manufacturing.


No less than 6 universities, 4 RTD institutes, 2 innovative SMEs, 6 companies and 1 European network have been brought together to deliver CARENA’s expected output. 


Have a look at the research partners involved in the project:


Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (CARENA's coordinator)


ECN is one of the leading institutes in Europe concerning applied energy research, with about 650 employees. Research activities at ECN are directed towards efficient use of energy and infrastructure, deployment of renewable energy sources, clean conversion of fossil fuels and development of energy analyses and policies. ECN focuses on the needs of government and industry. In addition, it conducts contract research for companies and governmental institutions and to a large extent for the European Union.


ECN's Unit participating in CARENA:

The Efficiency and Infrastructure Unit develops energy efficient technology for process industry. Main developments include heat pumps, structured reactors and distillation equipment, membrane separation and membrane reactors.

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Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique


CEA, the Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative energies, is a French governmental research organization devoted to both fundamental and industrial R&D in the fields of energy, information technologies, health technologies and defense. CEA numbers more than 15000 employees working in 10 research centers located in France.


CEA’s institute participating in CARENA:

LITEN – energy technologies for the future

LITEN, one of the CEA’s institutes, is hosting the CARENA project. LITEN is the Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials. Based both in GRenoble and chambery, it addresses the following new energy applications: hybrid components for micro-power sources, solar thermal and photovoltaic energies, hydrogen production and storage, batteries and fuel cells (SOFC and PEMFC). 

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique





CNRS, France’s National Center for Scientific Research is a government-funded research organization. It is the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe. CNRS has 26 000 permanent employees and 6 000 temporary workers.


Two of CNRS's institutes participate in CARENA:






Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et l’Environnement de Lyon

IRCELYON , the Institute for Research on Catalysis and Environment, is under the authority of both CNRS and the University of Lyon. IRCELYON brings together the know-how in heterogeneous catalysis developed in the Lyon area to establish the largest catalysis laboratory in France and Europe. The Institute numbers 115 permanent staff. Research is focused on heterogeneous catalysis applied to energy and environmental chemistry.

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Institut Européen des Membranes 

IEM , the European Membranes Institute, is under the authority of CNRS, the University of Montpellier 2 and the National School of Chemistry of Montpellier. IEM has a total of 45 permanent researchers. Total staff number is 140. Research is focused on the development of membranes and membrane processes according to 4 cross-themes: novel membrane materials and systems; membranes for hydrogen and production of energy; membranes for water treatment; membranes for health issues.

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SINTEF is a multidisciplinary contract research organization for research and development in technology. SINTEF employs 2100 staff who come from 67 different countries. SINTEF also acts as an incubator for new industrial companies.


SINTEF divisions participating in CARENA:

Materials and Chemistry (MC) division, through its Department of Energy conversion and Materials and its Department of Hydrocarbon Process Chemistry.

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Technion, Israel Institute of Technology


Technion is a technical university built in 1925 in Haifa, Israel. It offers programmes in engineering, exact and life sciences and includes a medical school.


Technion’s group participating in CARENA:

The Environmental Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Group is part of the Chemical engineering Department. Current interests within the group include experimental, theoretical and computational work on problems like spatiotemporal catalytic patterns, reactors with heat recuperation, membrane reactors, hydrogen generation, computational catalysis, reactor control and catalytic abatement of water pollutants.

University of Salerno







Salerno is located in southern Italy. Over 40.000 students study at the University of Salerno in one of the ten faculties: Science, Medicine and Surgery, Economy, Law, Engineering, Arts and Philosophy, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Education Science, and Political Science.

Research unit involved in CARENA:

Industrial chemistry and catalysis group (ICC) from the Department of Chemical and Food engineering (DICA). 

ICC expertise spans from catalytic chemical processes to nanomaterials, energy, environment and safety. The unit has more than 20 years expertise in the development of heterogeneous catalysts for application in petrochemical processe (oxidehydrogenation of alkanes), environmental processes (deNOx for mobile and stationary plants, soot abatement at diesel exhaust), autothermal reforming for hydrogen production, steam reforming of ethanol. 

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University of Twente



The University of Twente is a young, entrepreneurial university. It sets standards in the field of new technology and seeks to stimulate change, renewal and progress in society. UTwente works with the technologies of the future - information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology - in which behavioural and social science research play a vital role. UTwente is active in areas such as health, water, sustainability, security and education.


Two research groups from UTwente are involved in CARENA:

Both of them are part of the university’s Membrane Technology Group (


Inorganic Membranes group (IM).

IM Research covers three main themes:

•Microporous Ceramic Membranes: research encompasses the study of inorganic micro‐ and mesoporous ceramic membranes for use in energy‐efficient separations, as well as the use of these membranes in membrane reactors.

•Solid State Ionics: research encompasses the study of fast ionic and mixed ionic‐electronic transport in condensed phases and associated interfacial/electrode reactions.

•Advanced Ceramics Processing: research concerns preparation, consolidation and microstructural characteristics of (ultra) fine‐grained (oxidic) powders, ceramics and coatings. 


The Membrane Science and Technology group (MST) aims at tailoring membrane morphology and characteristics of membranes on a molecular level to control mass transport in macroscopic applications. The group’s expertise is a multidisciplinary knowledge chain ranging from molecule to process.

The research programme is divided into four application clusters: Sustainable Membrane Processes / Energy / Water /Biomedical and Life Sciences.

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Diamond, the UK's national synchrotron




Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry R&D.

The range of scientific disciplines using Diamond includes structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences. Diamond became operational in 2007 and now provides access to 15 beamlines with design and construction of a further 17 beamlines underway.

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European Membrane House







EMH is a non-profit-making international association set up in 2008 by universities and research institutes in 10 European countries. The European Membrane Society is also an EMH founding member.

EMH is dedicated to enhance the industrial implementation of membrane-based technologies. EMH also contributes to developing a coherent and structured European system for membrane research and technological innovation. This is achieved thanks to institutional lobbying and developing research and industry partnerships.

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Leibniz University of Hannover




Leibniz University opened in 1831, with 64 students. Today there are around 21 000 students following courses in natural sciences and engineering, the humanities and social sciences as well as in law and economics.


Institute involved in CARENA:

Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, which focuses on solid state chemistry. Special attention is devoted to porous materials for catalysis, gas adsorption and membrane permeation. Specific applications are catalytic membrane reactors, gas separation by molecular sieve membranes, Grätzel‐type dye‐sensitized solar cells, proton conducting membranes for fuel cells. Relevant to the CARENA project is the long experience in developing zeolite membranes and zeolite molecular sieve membranes.

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Summing it up!

The added value of European approach: scientific excellence combined with first-class industrial know-how.
Akzo and Arkema as EU leaders in fuels and chemicals bring a strong industrial leadership to the project. Technology providers covering various fields play a key role in the project: JM, Saint Gobain with recognised expertise in catalysis and ceramic manufacturing; TKT and Linde providing processes for the chemical industry; PDC and Acktar, leading SMEs in process design and process engineering, piloting facilities and innovative manufacturing technology. The academic partners (Leibniz University, UTwente, Technion, Salerno) and research organisations (CNRS-IRCELYON, SINTEF, ECN, CEA, CNRS-IEM, Diamond) bring cutting edge research to the project and together with EMH will provide strong links to existing EU networks.



                                                         CARENA partners in Europe