IK4-Tekniker is a private non-profit research organisation founded in 1981 with over 270 researchers and a turnover of about 21 M€ in 2013. Besides, IK4-Tekniker is part of the IK4 Research Alliance that comprises nine technological centres with the objective of bringing resources together in order to reach greater levels of technological-scientific excellence within the Basque System of Innovation. IK4 Research Alliance, is one of the top 10 private R&D corporations in Europe with over 1,430 professionals, 23% of the staff are PhD holders, IK4 has 152 patents in force and has set up a total of 71 new technology-based companies employing about 750 people.
The specific mission of IK4-Tekniker is to help the industrial sector to increase its innovative capacity by means of generating and applying technology and knowledge in order to be more competitive. Their expertise covers a wide range of technologies allowing them to provide services to a range of sectors from automotive over aeronautics up to assistive technologies and to develop a good variety of products. More specifically, the Chemistry of the Surface Unit at IK4-Tekniker has more than 10 years of experience in the development the synthesis, functionalization and dispersion of nanomaterials in fluids and organic and inorganic matrices, for being used in a wide range of applications. Additionally, IK4-Tekniker is member of the SPIRE Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency Board.
The tasks where IK4-Tekniker will be involved are the following:
- Intensive process characterization, based on the analysis of main properties of residual heat streams (semi solid and liquid flux) such us chemical, thermal and physical properties.
- Heat transfer fluids (HTFs) market analysis with potential to be used in the project and advanced additivation based in nanoparticles dispersion with the aim to enhance HTF thermal properties. Nanofluids will be evaluated not only at laboratory scale it will be also tested under simulated working conditions before implementation in the new devices
- Relative lifetime of the critical elements of the heat exchanger will be predicted using different accelerated corrosion and fatigue corrosion tests.
- Environmental Life Cycle Assessment to assess the environmental performance of the new installation in comparison with the reference installation at the beginning of the project, with this study the most problematic points of the installation will be identify and establish suggestions for minimizing the environmental impact