SHYMAN Project reaches the midpoint. Hydrothermal synthesis of nanoparticles is for real -news-

Nanoparticles are changing the way we conceive materials, boosting novel applications by tailored design of properties. ShyMan Project (ca. 6 million euro) is developing hydrothermal technology in supercritical water by a combination of the expertise of universities (Nottingham, Valladolid, etc) and companies (Solvay, REPSOL, PPG, etc.).

Valladolid university is the second biggest partner with a share of aprox. 0.8 million euro. The High Pressure Process Group at UVa is the leader of workpackage 5 (computational design) and actively participates in workpackage 8 (design of the industrial plant).

Prof. Fidel Mato Chaín and Prof. Juan García-Serna just came from the 18-month meeting in Prague (Czech Republic). See the full interview.

What are your impressions after the Prague meeting?

Fidel: the meeting was perfectly organised at the architectural faculty in Prague. This time we felt that the project is now for real, all the partners presented great advances in the technology. I also notice strong conviction of the people to move a step forward, everybody is pushing hard. It was really interesting. European Union controls closely all the advances and both the Project Officer (PO) and Project Technical Assessor (PTA) were present during the presentations and social activities.

What is ShyMan all about?

Fidel: The best way to experience the technology is to watch this two videos. The first one is an overwview of the technology, the second video shows a 3-day run of a pilot plant.

Who is doing the project at Valladolid University?

Fidel: The project is leaded by Chair Prof. María José Cocero. The simulation team is mainly composed by Jose B. Sierra Pallares, a postdoc with vast knowledge in computational fluid dynamics, Prof. Francisco Sobrón, who is an expert in process simulation, Alexander Navarrete a post doc doing the simulations and Prof. Fidel Mato leading the team. The design team is leaded by Juan García Serna. In addition, Prof. Esther Alonso and Prof. Soraya Rodriguez are participating in the workpackages for product design.

What technology do you use for simulation?

Fidel: We have done tailored simulations of Residence Time Distribution curves using our own tech developed by Prof. Sobrón. We also use commercial software for the simulation of the reactor.

About the design, is any other plant in the world using a similar technology?

Juan: Yes. Currently in Korea there is one semi-industrial plant, designed by Prof. Lee.

In addition, Promethean Particles is a spin-off company created by Prof. Ed Lester (the ShyMan project leader) is running a plant for 1 ton per year.

How difficult is to design a plant from scratch?

Juan: Designing a plant for 100 tons per year of nanoparticles is a big deal. Fortunately we count on the experience of world-renowned partners in their fields. Promethean Particles and University of Nottingham has extensive experience in hydrothermal synthesis. Valladolid University has a 20-year experience in supercritical water, plus another 15 partners experts in characterisation, synthesis of new materials, industry, etc.

When and where it will the next meeting?

Juan: Nice question. We are proud to announce that the next meeting will be at our facilities in Valladolid. It will be in 26-27 May 2013. After the meeting we will run a 1 week summer school based on the knowledge adquired during ShyMan project. We are both honoured and excited with the idea of having this course in Valladolid.

Please, tell us more about the summer school that will be held in Valladolid next year. What will be the main objective and the target public?

Juan: The main objectives are three:

  • Spread out the nanoparticle knowledge
  • Train EU PhD students and employees
  • Foster academic and professional relationship among the partners

The course will be for 36 attendees, mainly PhD students, post-docs and employees related to the project. It will take place from 28th May ’13 to 3rd June’14.

One more thing, about the programme, do you have a preliminary programme for the summer school?

Juan: Yes. So far we have a draft of the programme combining the knowledge to make the project a success.

We will count on professors who are world experts in the tech, like Prof. Tadafumi Adschiri and Prof. Byron Byrappa.

  1. Horizon 2020 ‐ EU projects
  2. Project Engineering
  3. HP&NP Safety Health and Environment (SHE)
  4. HP Thermodynamics and physical properties
  5. Crystallization & Kinetics
  6. Process simulation (Aspen Plus)
  7. Crystallization& Kinetics II
  8. Fluid mechanics
  9. Fluid mechanics software
  10. Scale‐up issues
  11. Life Cycle Assessment
  12. Team work on the project
  13. Nanoparticle characterization
  14. Team outdoor training
  15. Tailored applications for NP
  16. Technical visit to a company (PPG)
  17. Intellectual Property Management
  18. Tailored applications for NP II
  19. Creativity, innovation and enterpreneurship
  20. Project presentation and defense
  21. Open doors with secondary school and the public


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