Newsletter 2 - May


Editorial by Nino Gaeta

Welcome to the second XERIC newsletter.

XERIC has taken up a stimulating challenge: extending the range of electric vehicles by developing a novel climate control system. We are developing a hybrid system based upon an innovative three-fluids-combined membrane contactor (3F-CMC) that simultaneously works with air, desiccant solution, and refrigerant.

The first year was very busy: amongst other things, a novel PVDF membrane was prepared, a special plasma treatment is being developed to further increase its hydrophobicity, a desiccant was selected, the design of the first prototype of the membrane contactor was completed, its mechanical stability was modelled, and numerical simulations were carried out. It all resulted in the preparation of the preliminary 3F-CMC prototype!

(...) Thanks to our newsletters, you'll get to know the expertise of the teams involved in XERIC. For this edition, we're travelling to VITO's plasma group and UDE's 'Technical Chemistry II Chair'. We are also giving you the opportunity to discover the researchers involved in XERIC on an individual basis: in this edition, we're getting a glimpse into the daily life of Stefano Lazzari, Sabine Paulussen and Marta Bojarska. (...)

Nino Gaeta - GVS spa - XERIC's Coordinator

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Get to know the XERIC researchers - INTERVIEWS

Dr. Stefano LAZZARI

University of Genoa, Italy

Stefano’s work falls within the Industrial Engineering and Environmental Engineering branches. He brings into XERIC his expertise in modelling heat transfer and optimising the performance of heat exchangers.

“[It’s] very satisfying when any suggestion of change in the 3F-CMC design turns to be an enhancement in the overall air conditioning system, according to preliminary numerical evaluations. Since some modifications are not easy to be implemented from the manufacturing standpoint, finding the right compromise with the industrial partners is always a great victory!”
Read the full interview



VITO, Belgium

Sabine is part of VITO’s plasma technology team. She coordinated a European-funded project and is part of an Initial Training Network.
Plasma is actually the 4th state of matter, besides the solid, liquid and gas states. It is an ionized gas meaning that the molecules in a gas are further split into, amongst others, radicals, ions and electrons, by adding energy to the gas. A plasma can be generated by heating, but also for example by applying an electric field, which is what we do in the lab.”
Read the full interview



UDE, Germany

Marta is a postdoc researcher at UDE. Her PhD thesis dealt with hydrogen separation from after-fermentation gases.
 “I, along with the rest of the UDE team involved in XERIC, am trying to obtain a lab scale membrane prototype. Basically, we are focusing on a phase separation method and its aspects for membrane formation. (…) In my opinion the most challenging part of this task is yet to come. It is up-scaling and transfer of membrane production from University to Industry.”
Read the full interview


Poster Award to XERIC PhD student

2nd place for Best Poster Presentation

We are proud to announce that Clemens Alexowsky, a XERIC PhD student at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, received the 2nd place for Best Poster Presentation for the poster he presented at the European Young Engineers Conference in April in Warsaw, Poland.

The aim of Clemens’s work is to prepare hydrophobic and highly porous polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membranes with high porosity and tunable and narrow barrier pore size distribution in the range from ~0.1 to ~1 μm using the vapor induced phase separation (VIPS) technique. In the poster, the focus is put on the differences of the None-Solvent Induced Phase Separation and VIPS method as well as the exposure time of the cast film in humid air. 
View the poster


Discover XERIC partners’ expertise

VITO's plasma tech group

The group is made up of 18 staff members working on process and equipment development with a strong focus on industrial implementation and transfer of knowledge. VITO's atmospheric plasma technology provides solutions for sustainable and solvent-free surface treatment. It allows dedicated chemical functionalisation of any substrate (plastic, glass, metal).
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UDE: the Ulbricht's Group - Membranes

Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE) offers a broad spectrum of fields, with a strong focus on sciences, engineering and medicine. The “Technische Chemie II” Chair (TCII) has a key position within research and teaching in UDE’s Chemistry Department. Research carried out by Prof. Ulbricht’s group is devoted to functional polymeric materials with a focus on separation membranes and particular emphasis on applications in water purification and related processes. Core competences of his group include development of polymer-based membranes, coatings or surface modifications with various functionalities such as hydrophilic or hydrophobic, antifouling and molecular recognition.

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One-day event: Improving Energy Efficiency in EVs

Grow your network!

Increasing the range of electric vehicles remains one of the biggest challenges in the automotive industry. As a result, XERIC and 2 other EU-funded projects have decided to organise a one-day event on the latest trends and technologies to improve energy efficiency in electric vehicles.

You’re from R&D or Industry, or maybe you’re an end user? Join us on November 24 in Bologna, Italy:

• you’ll learn what the European Commission is doing for electric mobility;

• you'll get a unique insight into the latest research and development on energy   management in electric vehicles;

• you'll establish new contacts for collaborations thanks to bilateral meetings that you’ll have pre-booked online.

Access to the event is FREE if you register.

Online registration will start in June on a dedicated website: you'll receive an email when registration opens.
If you have any questions or need more information, don't hesitate to get in touch with our Communication Officer, Guylène Soula, at