MASCOT partnership project, an initiative to develop CO2-neutral processes for resource-intensive industries, receives Business Finland funding; project will require innovations in materials, design, manufacturing to use alternative feed and raw materials

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May 17, 2022 (press release) –

Business Finland has granted major funding for the MASCOT partnership project which responds to materials performance challenges presented by the emerging CO2-neutral processes of circular economy and hydrogen technologies and generates the knowledge base essential for their reliability and competitiveness. The three-year co-innovation project with the total budget of 7.2 M€ brings together six companies and two research institutes to tackle the material challenges in emerging fossil-free processes, and take the forerunner position in the international growth markets.

Finnish companies are pioneers in the development of carbon-neutral technologies and processes, and the results obtained in MASCOT (Materials for CO2-neutral processes in resource-intensive industries) will significantly improve their reliability, safety, and competitiveness. The companies in MASCOT include Andritz, Exote, Metso Outotec, Neste, Nordic Tank, and Wärtsilä. The MASCOT project is coordinated by VTT, and the public research project will be implemented by VTT in collaboration with the University of Oulu. 

“Finland is the leading country in cleantech, including circular economy and hydrogen technologies, and Finnish companies are at the forefront of development. The new carbon-neutral processes, products and technologies provide competitive advantage in international growth markets, where there is an increasing demand for environmentally friendly zero-carbon, zero-emission solutions”, says Pekka Pohjanne, Lead, Materials for new energy technologies at VTT.

The cutting-edge fossil-free processes and systems are different from the conventional ones in their feed and raw materials, chemical operation environment, temperature and pressure. “The new technologies and equipment that are brought to market should provide predictable and reliable performance without compromising safety and competitiveness. Tackling this challenge requires new innovations in many areas related to materials technology: material, design, manufacturing and process innovations”, says Elina Huttunen-Saarivirta, Research professor at VTT. By joining forces, the multi-sectoral MASCOT consortium has capability to develop these innovations and accelerate them to the market, as the partners have diverse and complementing expertise, facilities and networks. 

MASCOT is linked to two Business Finland Veturi ecosystems: “Zero Emission Marine” (ZEM) Veturi ecosystem programme initiated by Wärtsilä (2022-2025) and “Novel sustainable & scalable solutions for transportation and chemicals” Veturi ecosystem launched by Neste (2020-2024). MASCOT contributes to the described ecosystem missions by tackling the bottleneck of enabling materials technology.

“MASCOT is the first awarded ecosystem project in the recently launched ZEM ecosystem and it gives an important contribution to the programme. Our target is to accelerate the green transition in the marine industry, and the MASCOT project provides the materials-related know-how which is essential to reach the target”, says Kenneth Widell, ZEM Programme Manager at Wärtsilä Finland.

Neste has been advancing its Veturi project, aiming at developing sustainable and globally scalable raw materials and technology solutions for transportation fuels and the production of chemicals and polymers, already since 2020. “MASCOT project is an important piece in this puzzle, by providing the materials performance know-how that is necessary to implement the new process technologies and deliver the new products safely and reliably to the market”, summarizes Jarmo Kela, Senior R&D program manager at Neste.

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