Annual Report 2008 - Certech

Annual Report 2008 - Certech


1 CertechAnnualReport2008

Certech1.1 Presentationarchitecte: P. Samyn - photo: ArchiguideThe Centre of Technological Resources in Chemistry (CERTECH asbl) is a contract research organisation providinga wide range of services to industries directly or indirectly involved with chemical technology: automobile,construction, packaging, food, agriculture, personal care, pharmaceutical, medical, energy, environment,etc.Certech’s mission is to provide help, support and services to small and large industrial enterprises, by offeringad hoc analysis and measurements, problem-solving, contract research, product and process developmentcapabilities.Certech is committed to provide its customers with high quality services, accurate results in time and expertadvice. Through R&D, in-licensing and close partnership with industry, the centre draws on the latest developmentsto offer its clients state-of-the-art facilities, innovative products, processes and methods.Leading expertises include air environment, polymer technology and catalysis and synthesis.Fields of activityAir EnvironmentCertech offers a broad range of support services in the field of air quality, risk assessment and environmentalimpact studies. Research relates to diagnosis and treatment of near field air quality (troposphere andindoor pollution) as well as to emissions from materials.Outdoors air pollution:• Sampling and on-line measurements of odour and gaseous effluents (VOC, SOx, NOx, dusts...) fromlocalised sources (chimney, outlet...) and diffuse sources (landfill, water purification plant...)• Environmental impact via simulations of atmospheric dispersion of odours and gaseous pollutants for variousindustries (pharmaceutical, chemical and steel industries, agriculture and food industries, compostingsites, wastewater treatment, landfills...)• Neighbourhood direct assessment: determination of industrial pollution exposure in ambient air, traceabilityof sources, mid-term to long-term monitoring...• Performance evaluation of treatments units, identification of best available technologies, definition ofspecifications, design concepts and recommendation of providers6

Indoors air pollution:• Identification and characterisation of pollutants and odour sources• Assessment of treatment options• Preliminary toxicological impact assessment• Workplace air monitoring: sampling and analysis of dusts and chemical components (determination ofexposure limits), measurement of nanoparticles in ambient air, determination of the organic vapour cartridgeservice lifetime for respiration protection.• Probability calculation to make representative assessments of workplace exposure.CertechEmissions from materialsCertech deals with research, development, testing and consulting in all aspects of emissions from materials.New requirements from end-users (low odour and emission products), new directives & regulations (forexample new OEM standards or construction products directive and its essential requirements on hygiene,health and the environment) have distinct influence on the market. They have generated a need for reliablelaboratory testing conditions. Combining its skills in sampling and analysis of air with its know how in materialtechnology, CERTECH has developed leading edge expertise in assessing and managing gaseous emissionsproduced by materials. It includes indoor air quality (IAQ), emissions from building or transport materials,migration phenomena and organoleptic contamination of packaging materials.Research is focused on the reduction of exposure related to different sources of pollutant by providing compound-specificdata on various organic sources, developing data useful to manufacturers and builders toassess potential product emissions and finally proposing new materials presenting a reduced rate of emissions(formulations or process modifications, new non-volatile additives, etc).Physico-chemical analysis (gas and liquid chromatography: VOC, sulphured compounds, amines, isocyanates,aldehydes and ketones, …, electronic nose) and sensory analyses (odour measurement bydynamic olfactometry, quantification based on intensity scale, qualitative description by expert panels andGC-MS-sniffing) are used to characterise gaseous pollutants.In order to face rapidly expanding demand, Certech proposes rapid screening of emissive materials anddeveloped products control for building materials, furniture and household products.Certech has been selected as the Belgian expert concerning the elaboration of the European StandardEN13725 “Air quality – Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”, ISO 16000-5“Measurement strategy for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)” and ISO 16000-9, 10, 11 “Building products- Determination of the emission of volatile organic compounds”. It is currently involved in different committeeas expert (see 1.5).Polymer TechnologyCertech has developed leading expertise in the field of polymer technology. Services include adequateanalyses and measurements, problem solving, contract research, development of improved products andprocesses.Reverse engineering – Formulation:Reverse engineering (or deformulation) aims at identifying components of a sometimes complex assembly.Certech has a long experience in such type of analyses. Keys to success lie in a thorough knowledge ofmaterial and analytical science, and in the ability to plan and exploit numerous sophisticated investigationtechniques, as well as searching efficiently the literature for relevant and well-targeted information. Certechprovides also services in the formulation of thermoplastics or thermosets based products according to customizedspecifications.7

CertechPhysical and chemical properties of polymers:Analyses performed are either punctual analyses or projects requiring an array of different techniques.Among them:• Chemical spectroscopies: FTIR, Raman, UV-Vis and NMR• Thermal analysis: DSC and TGA• Chromatographic techniques : HPLC-PDA-MS, GC-FID, PY-GC-MS, SEC (or GPC)• Mechanical properties determination (impact strength, HDT, tensile properties)• Rheology (MFI, Capillary and rotational rheometry)Materials and surface:there is a close relationship between microstructure and properties of materials. Morphologic analysis istherefore an important field of investigation. Certech has built expertise in the characterization of polymersby microscopy and surface analysis.In particular, topographic analysis is performed using profilometry and scanning electron microscopy(SEM). This latest technique combined to EDX spectroscopy also allows elemental analysis. The phasemicro-distribution is studied by optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. These techniquesrequire specific sample preparations i.e. microtomy and (cryo-) ultramicrotomy.Processing:CERTECH is equipped with a range of processing tools such as a high shear blender, an internal mixer, a miniextrudercombined with a mini-injection molder, twin-screw extruders, single-screw (co) extruders, injectionmoulding, etc. Those highly flexible equipments are designed for the simulation of lab scale transformationprocesses: compounding, coextrusion of films or tubes, cable insulation, injection molding, preparation ofnanocomposites. Available output ranges from 5g to a few hundred kg of formulated plastic.Catalysis and synthesisCertech has developed leading edge skills in organic and inorganic catalysis and synthesis. This combinedwith high throughput experimentation allows extremely fast new product discovery.Certech services include custom synthesis of organometallic catalysts and novel polymer synthesis routes.Certech also strives to the improvement of synthetic pathways and process development for chemicals andrare active ingredients.In summary, Certech can help in:• Optimisation of synthetic pathways• Synthesis of building blocks• Bibliographic study• Structural modification (optimisation, patent examples)• Preparation of analogues around an active lead• Small libraries of molecules with automated synthesis workstations• Synthesis from gram to kilogram in classical laboratory conditions or with semi-automated reactorsCertech can rely on a broad range of analytical techniques to control and monitor its synthesis work:• a series of chromatographic techniques such as LC, LC-MS, GC-MS, GC-FID with autosamplers• TLC sampler and OPLC (Optimum Performance Laminar Chromatography)• Spectroscopic methods such as IR, Raman, UV, NMRCatalysis, homogeneous or heterogeneous, is vital to the chemical industry and is now widely used in mostindustrial chemical processes. Process benefits derive from cost savings (via improved time, energy andraw materials efficiencies) and from reducing the environmental impact of chemical operations.8

Certech scientists have developed expertise in various areas such as organometallic catalysis, especially inhydrogenation, C-C couplings, hydrosilylation, polymerisation or photocatalysis.Organometallic synthesis:• Controlled conditions (oxygene, moisture) and standard techniques in organometallic chemistry (distilledsolvents, argon-vacuum manifold, Schlenk techniques)• Expertise in the synthesis of organometallic complexes and non-commercial catalysts• Enantioselective synthesis and chiral ligand synthesisCertechInorganic materials synthesis:• Synthesis of solids with controlled porosity by way of sol-gel• Nano-materials synthesis• Oxide synthesis with large surface area (SiO2, zeolites, TiO2...)Catalysis:• Enantioselective catalysis• Photocatalysis• Catalytic system optimisation•Bibliographic study• Reaction under pressure (parallel reactors and autoclave up to 600 ml and 100 bar)• Hydrogenation, hydroformylation, cross-coupling, hydrosilylation, polymerisation, photo-oxidation…Arising from pharmaceutical research in the 1980s, combinatorial chemistry or high throughput experimentation(HTS) is a key technique in pharmaceutical research discovery process, through the rapid synthesisof thousands of compounds. A few years ago, a rationalizing effort appeared with parallel synthesis. Certechknow-how in the exploitation of high throughput experimentation could offer you enhanced productivity byexpanding significantly synthetic capabilities per unit time and effort thanks to the simultaneous run of alarge number of reactions:• In organic synthesis for the preparation of small libraries of molecules.• In catalysis for the parallel evaluation of new catalysts or the optimisation of existing systems.• In polymer synthesisEquipments available at Certech include:• Automated synthesis workstation under controlled atmosphere (up to 32 parallel reactions)• Parallel autoclaves with mechanical stirring (8 x 20 ml scale, up to 34 bar and 200°C)• Microwave reactor (from 0.5 ml to 20 ml)• Data and information management with a dedicated databasePolymer synthesis and modification:Certech has built an expertise in polymer and copolymer synthesis:• Controlled radical polymerization• Ionic polymerization (cationic or anionic)• Transition metal complex catalysis (Chromium, Ziegler-Natta, metallocene and new single-site catalysts).Functionalisation of polymers has found several applications:• immobilization of macromolecules on surfaces• adjustment of polymer polarity• coupling of macromolecules to obtain block or graft copolymers9

CertechFinally, Certech has developed leading edge skills in fuel cell technology, specially dedicated to PEMFC(Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell).• Electrode materials formulation• Optimisation of ink deposit on diffusion layer• Synthesis of new porous membranesCertech is active in different projects around the thematic of a better exploitation of Energy resources.1.2 MarketsAs shown in Figure 1, Certech serves a wide range of industries. Major markets involve highly demandingareas such as medical and pharmaceutical industries, environment and energy, polymer producers. Thosecustomers call upon various competences of the centre and synergies of the three business units.Polymer producersEnvironnement&EnergyTransportMedical & PharmaceuticalLaboratoriesOtherChemistryPaper&WoodElectronic & ElectricFoodMetalAgricultureBuildingCosmetic&healthcareGlassPackagingFigure 1:Distribution of income ofindustrial origin in 200810

Certech1.4 Key FiguresIn 2008, Certech billed € 2.126.841 to private industrial organisations and managed € 748.516 of publicfunding. Figure 3 shows the comparison with 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 whilst figure 4 shows the evolutionof the number of customers since 2000 (655 customers).In comparaison to 2007, the private origin ressources (contracts research, industrial research projects andconference organisation) were constant (+1%) while public contracts have grown of 36%. In 2008, 67% ofCertech operational costs have been covered by industrial contracts.Public fundingsContracts350000030000002500000Figure 3:Turnover in 2008, comparison with2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004CA (k€)20000001500000100000050000002004 2005 2006 2007Year2008Customers numbers700600500400300200100Figure 4:Evolution of the cumulativenumber of customers02000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 20062007 200812

1.5 Recognition & CommunicationRecognitionCertech has successfully participated to a round robin in the field of polymer additive analysis. Fiverenowned laboratories spread across Europe were involved. Certech has been recognized as the preferredlab in view of to the quality of the results, the respect of the lead time and its professional behaviour. Thisround robin gave Certech the opportunity to develop new methods to expend its analytical portfolio. A seriesof polymer additives can be identified and quantified such as antioxidants, process stabilizers, UV absorbers,plasticizers, antistatic agents, slip agents,... In order to improve the service in this field, Certech has decidedto invest in 2009 in a new generation pyrolysis-GC-MS. This equipment will be helpful for the identification ofadditives.CertechAs an innovative and quality oriented player in its industry, Certech is ideally positioned to support itsclients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the demands of regulatory authorities. Theimplication of Certech in standardization working groups is thus a priority. Certech has been selected asexpert in different ISO and CEN committee in the field of:• Determination of VOCs in indoor air• Emissions into indoor air• Emissions from constructions products into indoor air• Sensory testing• Measurement of odour impact by field inspection• PhotocatalysisIt is also the Belgian representative for a COST Action 540 “Photocatalytic technologies and novel nanosurfacesmaterials - critical issues” (PHONASUM). This action gathers a network of researchers and practitionersworking in the field of photocatalysis from all around Europe and will concentrate on the development ofEU standards for the characterization of photocatalytic materials. It is also a member of the internationalorganizing committee for the TiO2 conference: International Conference on 25 Years of TiO2 Photocatalysis– Retrospective and Prospective Views and the 13th International Conference on TiO2 Photocatalysis:Fundamentals and Applications (TiO2-13).QualificationsCERTECH has reintroduced the approval for the qualification by The Walloon Region as an authorized laboratoryfor providing services for the sampling, analysis, research and development in the field of air quality.Certech is accredited by French OEM for the analysis of odour and certain volatile organic compounds emittedby materials (including formaldehyde).SymposiaCertech organised on October, 1st and 2nd the sixth edition of itssuccessful conference "Emissions and odours from materials". Thisyear again, around 115 participants confirmed the interest ofindustry and various institutions for this matter. Delegates camemainly from the plastic industry (raw material producers) but alsofrom the automotive and building industries. European laboratories& research centres were broadly represented. The program of thetwo days was divided in five sessions: regulation, labels & EUProjects, Indoor Air Quality, Odours, polymers & others materials,analytical tools. Hot topics this year were new VOC regulations,recycled plastics, green materials, durability, impact on health andraw materials sourcing in the context of the global economy. With13

Certechthe participation of leading industry professionals, standards & regulatoryexperts, R&D scientists, material specialists, industry analystsand market players, this conference covered a good range of topicsand offered an ideal platform for fact sharing and acquiring of newknowledge among participants.The 5 th International Conference on Polymer Modification, Degradation and Stabilization (MODEST) was organizedfor the 1st time in Belgium by UCL-POLY and CERTECH. It took place in Liège on September 7-11, 2008. Around200 delegates from 30 countries attended the conference sessions and the technical exhibition. 5 topicswere covered through 20 plenary and keynote lectures, 50 oral communications and 100 posters:• Polymer modification and additives (including reactive processing)• Reuse, recycling and valorisation of polymer wastes• Biomodification and biodegradation of polymers• Polymers in nanocomposites and nanotechnologies• New trends in identification, characterisation and properties analysis of polymersThe conference provided an excellent opportunity to catch up on recent developments and to interact withcolleagues from the industry or from universities and research centers.14

PublicationsPatents:“Polymerisation of ethylene and alpha-olefins with catalyst systems based on BINAM derived ligands.”Hillairet, C.; Michaud, G.; Sirol, S. Eur. Pat. Appl. (2008) EP1982975 (Total Petrochemicals Research Feluy, Belg.)Certech“Polymerisation of ethylene and alpha-olefins with catalyst systems based on BINAM derived ligands.” Hillairet,C.; Michaud, G.; Sirol, S. PCT Int. Appl. (2008) WO2008125548 (Total Petrochemicals Research Feluy, Belg.)“Polymerisation of ethylene and alpha-olefins with pyrrol-iminophenol complexes.” Hillairet, C.; Michaud, G.;Sirol, S. Eur. Pat. Appl. (2008) EP1925623 (Total Petrochemicals Research Feluy, Belg.)“Polymerisation of ethylene and alpha olefins with single site catalysts having an anionic scorpion-like ligand.”Hillairet, C.; Michaud, G.; Sirol, S. Eur. Pat. Appl. (2008) EP1925620 (Total Petrochemicals ResearchFeluy, Belg.)Process and compositions for making polyamide-polyolefin blends and barrier packaging articles madetherefrom, Gollier, P.-A; Rachidi, S., WO2008034203 (A2), 2008Papers:Le sol gel suscite un engouement, François Collignon, revue Galvano-Organo, Traitement de surface et peintures,n° 780, Décembre 2008, 46-47Odeurs et risque sanitaire - les symptômes de la gêne olfactive, Les carnets du préventeur, 73, Mai 2008, p14-18.Odeurs et risque sanitaire, Les carnets du préventeur, 72, Avril 2008, p3-9.La formation et l'optimisation de l’image en MEB (Chap. VII) – A. JADIN; Complément «Matériaux isolants»(Chap XVIII) – A. JADIN, M. BETBEDER, dans "Microscopie électronique à balayage et Microanalyses", EDP-Sciences, Paris 2008 (ISBN : 978-2-7598-0082-7)Cahier Technologique Sol-Gel, François Collignon, CERTECH editor, 2008.Conferences:La thermodésorption couplée à l’analyse par GC-MS, User club thermal desorption (Interscience), SebastienMoro, 20 novembre 2008.Plate forme ERE (Environnement - Recyclage – Energie) des Centres de Recherche Agréés (Accord Wallonie),Forum Créawal, Dominique Lalande, 18 novembre 2008, Louvain-La-Neuve, BelgiqueExposition aux odeurs - De la toxicité aux symptômes de la gêne olfactive, Journées Nationales de Médecinedu Travail, O.Noiset, Charleroi, 9-10 octobre 2008Odour and emissions reduction, C.Henneuse, Emissions and odours from materials, October 1-2, Brussels, 2008.Polymer wastes conversion to liquid fuel, F. Collignon, Y. Bourgeois, A. Boborodea, M. Owen., MoDeSt 2008 –the 5th International conference on Modification, Degradation and Stabilization of Polymers, Liège, Belgium- September 7-11, 2008.Laboratory to perform tests on materials, Henneuse, C., Renault “Cabin air quality and recycled materials”,Guyancourt, France, 12 June 2008.15

CertechAre ISO methods sufficient for some existing photocatalytic technologies verification as eg. air purifiers ?Dr. B. Kartheuser, COST540- June 08, Prague, Czech Republic.Attempt of Titanium dioxide activation by a die to work under visible light, S. Beri, Dr. B. Kartheuser, COST540-WG- April 08, Dublin, Ireland.Potentiel de la spectroscopie IR pour la résolution de problèmes industriels, Yann Bourgeois, AngéliqueGiacomazzi, Marianne Owen, séminaires Moléculaires de PerkinElmer, 26 février 2008 à Liège et 28 février2008 à LLN.Video:Video presentation of the Industrial Hygiene unit for the celebration of CESI 40st anniversary, SebastienMoro, November 22d 2008.Posters:Improvement of gas barrier properties of polyolefins by adjunction of barrier polymer in lamellar shape,H. Damsir, S.Rachidi, MoDeSt 2008 – the 5 th International conference on Modification, Degradation andStabilization of Polymers, Liège, Belgium - September 7-11, 2008.Stand Certech:10 th workshop odour and emission of plastic materials March 10-11, 2008, Kassel, Germany.5 th International Conference on Polymer Modification, Degradation and Stabilization, September 7-11, 2008,Liège, Belgium23 ème édition de Pollutec horizons, 2-5 décembre 2008, Lyon, France16

2 2008 HighlightsAnnualReport2008

Certech aims at enhancing and speeding up the R&D efforts of its partners. Typical R&D projects and developmentsinclude:-Public research: the Centre is alone or is part of a consortium. It executes an approved research proposalthat has often generic characteristics and that is financed by a public body (Region, Nation, Europe, etc)2008 Highlights-Technological developments dedicated to product and process improvement and to contract research. Inthis case, the Centre executes a program driven by an organisation or an enterprise. Certech could share theresearch and development costs with the client, as well as any successful outcome.-Research & Development activities based on proprietary research: the Centre finances in part or in total aresearch it elects to perform. It retains ownership of results.2.1 Public R&D projectsIn 2008, Certech introduced a series of proposals. Certech has submitted as leader the "Micropack" portfolioof projects in collaboration with two Walloon research centers, namely Celabor and Carah. The objective of theproject is the development of attractive cost/performance techniques to improve the barrier properties ofplastics. This proposal has been approved and the project will start in 2009 for a period of 6 years under theframework of the "Convergence" and "Compétitivité" programs (European Regional Development Fund combinedwith funding from the Walloon Region).Certech has also introduced a crossborder project in the field of PVC-hemp composite materials. This “POLY-CHANVRE” project is submitted under the Interreg IV programme between France and Belgium.Two projects were also proposed in the framework of the collaborative research programme initiated by theWalloon Region. The first one is related to the modification of cellulose for the development of new packagingmaterials. The second one involves CRM, CENAERO and CERTECH. The objective of this project is toimprove the agglomeration of fine particles to increase separation in conventional electrostatic filters.Finally, Certech has introduced as coordinator the project “ECOCAT” relating to fuel cell technology within theSeventh Framework Programme (FP7).Projects in progress are listed below:• The INTERMES project has started in October 2008. This project aims at developing new mesoporous polyimidestructures. The strategy is based on the synthesis of interpenetrating networks of polyimide anddegradable polymers. The project has received financial support of the Walloon Region through the FIRST-DOCA program. It gives the opportunity to a Certech researcher to obtain a Ph. D. fellowship under supervisionof Prof. Philippe Dubois at University of Mons-Hainaut (Belgium).• Within the frame of the regional competitiveness action for Energy “open innovation”, a collaborative projectnamed “PICOM”, concerning fuel cells, started in March 2008. This project is conducted in partnershipwith ULg - CIOR and LASSC (University of Liège), UCL – EMIC (University of Louvain), Nanocyl S.A. and IT4IPS.A., which is the coordinator. It concerns the development of new MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly)networks thanks to innovative materials.• The proposal Hope 4PD has been approved by the region authorities (regional competitiveness cluster forHealth BIOWIN - Marshall Plan) in October 2008. The project deals with Parkinson’s disease new treatments.The two main objectives of this project are firstly to validate two selected receptors as novel drugtargets and secondly to identify original compounds modulating these receptors that would lead to an18

innovative and improved treatment of Parkinson ’s disease. This project is supported by Biowin, theWallonia Health Cluster and involves Euroscreen and UCB pharma, as well as FUNDP and ULB laboratories.The project will allow Certech staff to deploy its expertise in organic synthesis and high throughput screeningtechniques for the hit to lead step required for new drug discovery. Certech will be involved in the secondpart of the project (2010-2012).• Three different cross border projects were accepted for Interreg funding in the field of recycling, sol-gel andsensorial aspects linked with plastics materials. The Interreg IV RECY-POLYMER project started in July2008 under the Interreg IV France-Wallonia-Flanders programme. Certech is the leader of this crossborderproject in partnership with CREPIM (France) and VKC (Flanders). The aim of the project is the developmentof recycled products based on PVC, automotive plastics waste or waste of electrical and electronic equipment(WEEE). The Interreg IV (France-Wallonia programme) Hybriprotech project, realised in partnershipwith CRITT-MDTS (Charleville- Mézières) and GEGENA (University of Reims) started also in June 2008. Theaim of the project is the creation of a crossborder collaboration in the field of surfaces protection, thanksto hybrid materials as sustainable solutions. It concerns the development of technologies more specificallydevoted to metals corrosive protection and stone preservation. The Sensoplast project dealing with sensoryproperties of plastics will start in 2009 in collaboration with Armines-Ecole de Douai.2008 Highlights• The TechnoPoly (polymer technology) project started in 2008 for a period of 6 years under theConvergence programme (European Regional Development Fund combined with funding from the WalloonRegion). Certech, the leader of this project, and the partner CTP will study plastics collected in a selectiveway in the Walloon Region. The project aims at the valorisation of municipal plastic waste in order to minimisedisposal to landfill. A mix of recycling options will be used for the best environmental and economicresult: material recycling and catalytic cracking.Certech is involved in different collaborative projects:• The NaCell project involves a collaboration of CERTECH with the laboratory of polymers of the CatholicUniversity of Louvain (POLY – UCL) and the University of Gembloux (Faculté Universitaire des SciencesAgronomiques de Gembloux, FUSAGx). The project aims at the development of nanocomposites usingassisted dispersion and in situ generation of cellulose nanofibers in a polymer matrix. The use of naturalnanofibers dispersed in a polymer is meant to bring a combination of unique physical properties as comparedto polymer filled with conventional fillers.• The Walloon Region collaborative research program REVADEC has started in 2007. This project is conductedin partnership with CTP asbl (Centre Technologique International de la Terre et de la Pierre) who are isthe coordinator. It concerns the development of a technology aiming at the valorisation of materials of oldwaste landfills.• OXOBIO: Certech is the leader of this collaborative research project in partnership with Materia Nova andCelabor. Plastic bags accumulating in landfills, flying in deserts or floating in oceans have contributed toentertain a poor image with consumers, despite the favourable convenience and cost performance featuresof these materials. This project aims at offering a cost effective solution to such visual and environmentalnuisances. The objectives of the research are to develop compatibilized blends of modified polyolefinsand biodegradable polyesters. The new materials are expected to offer processors products behavinglike conventional plastics, with degradation properties close to agricultural origin products, at moderatecosts.• PHASEMAT: This project, which involves collaboration between CERTECH, CRR and CSTC, aims at evaluatingthe incorporation of phase change materials that can store and release comparatively large amounts ofheat. The underlying mechanism relates to a phase change of selected materials (PCM) at critical temperatures,such as freezing temperatures. They shall be evaluated in concrete to prevent overnight freezing19

of roads or critical areas such as bridges. A PCM can possibly reduce the number or intensity offreeze/thaw cycles experienced by a bridge deck or other concrete structures exposed to weathering,reducing hence fatigue and attrition.• RETERMAT is a collaborative research programme between CSTC, CENTEXBEL, CRM and CERTECH startingin 2008. This project aims at evaluating the phase change material for thermal regulation of buildings.2008 HighlightsTechnological guidancesCertech is involved in three technological guidances:• The polymer technological guidance team has been promoting technological platforms developed by thepolymer team as a result of specific customer demands. The polymer technological guidance team has initiateda number of collaborations with industrial partners.• Another technological guidance project aims at sensitising industry, particularly SME’s, to issues relatingto pollutants emitted by materials in confined environment and at promoting the use of new technologies.The team provides its knowledge and know-how in this field in order to support companies in their productand process developments, with a special focus on worker exposure. Support to the industry includestechnological and normative watch. For example, Certech is involved as expert in the working groupCEN/TC 351/WG 2 “Construction products – Assessment of release of dangerous substances - Emissionsinto indoor air” and participated to the ENVIE and BUMA (European projects on indoor air quality) workshops.By sharing its expertise with industry, Certech has contributed to the creation of several high levelnew jobs in reputed Walloon enterprises.• Certech, Celabor and Centexbel joined forces in a joint technological guidance project which aims at developinga specific expertise in the field of barrier products. The association aims at informing, advising, supportingindustry in the resolution of technical problems, in their endeavours towards innovation, andpotentially related investments and to assist them in obtaining financial support for their research.2.2 Technological DevelopmentsAir EnvironmentCertech is a widely recognized expert laboratory in the assessment of air quality. For the last 10 years,Certech has been offering a large span of capabilities and know-how with respect to the chemical, sensorial(odour) and toxicological aspects of air quality. Certech operates as much in outdoors as indoors situationsrelated to atmospheric pollution (households, offices, transports, workplace environments…). Its expertisein chemical and sensorial evaluations of air quality helps customers to select the most relevant methodologyfor every situation.In the field of atmospheric pollution, Certech offers new tools for neighbourhood direct assessment. Thisapproach presents several advantages: direct measurement of nuisances, traceability of sources, mid-termto long-term monitoring...In the field of indoor air quality, CERTECH is very active in standardization for indoor air remediation with anair purifier. CERTECH tests commercial air purifiers in chambers equipped with appropriate analytical equipment.CERTECH offers also a full range of workplace air monitoring (VOCs, dust) including the determinationof the organic vapour cartridge service lifetime for respiration protection. Nanotechnologies hold greatpromises in many areas: energy, environment, medicine... But there is little information on the potentialimpact of these new materials on human health and the environment. Concerted efforts are needed to developmethodologies and protocols with the implementation of hazard/toxicology studies as well as workplace20

exposure assessments to evaluate the impact of nanomaterials in air on human health. In this way, Certechextends its know-how to the measurement of nanoparticles in ambient air. Particles dispersion can be followedfor particles holding a diameter size of 7nm to 10 μm.At the interface of air quality and polymer expertise, Certech has continued to support the industry with identificationand understanding of odour and VOC emissions from materials. Certech has assisted equipmentmanufacturers to qualify their products and to develop new materials with reduced emissions (less-volatileadditives, formulations or process modifications).In order to face rapidly expanding demand, Certech proposed rapid screening of emissive materials anddeveloped products control for building materials, furniture and household products. Certech invested alsosignificant efforts in the implementation of new automotive standards. Beside active collaboration with theautomotive industry, it has been accreditated by French automotive OEM as related in part 1.5.Recognition& Communication/accreditation.Polymer TechnologyCertech has oriented development activities towards more sustainable solutions, such as an enhanced useof renewable resources and recycling of spent materials. Recently developed wood polymer compositesoffer attractive cost performance and physical properties. Other composites based on natural fibres such ashemp offer also attractive features. Last but not least, technologies have been developed for the valorisationof heavily degraded or contaminated plastic wastes as liquid fuel.2008 HighlightsCatalysis and synthesisCertech continues to offer its services for existing and well established companies but also to start ups inorder to help them solving R&D and analytical problems. In the field of recycling, Certech is involved in severalprojects for the valorisation of plastic wastes. . There is a clear demand for the development of new outletsfor recycled plastics, with an ever increasing regulatory pressure (RoHS, WEEE, ELV…). Catalytic crackingof heavily contaminated or degraded plastic waste is also being evaluated. These projects require appropriatesampling (heterogeneous material), characterisation of the recycled material and due statisticalanalyses.Certech has also been involved in the formulation and development of improved fuel cell electrodes.2.3 Intellectual Property and Product DevelopmentDifferent patents application have been filed in connection with synthesis and catalysis (see point1.5.Recognition & Communication/publication).2.4 QualityThe continuous improvement process, which is the heart of the QMS, is displaying a strong activity. Morethan 100 Quality Requests have been submitted in 2008, most were solved at the end of the year. Customerand supplier claims were solved to the satisfaction of all parties. Six different departments have been consideredfor internal audit. The plan of audits has been fully respected leading to several improvements orpreventive actions.21

Customer satisfactionIn 2008, 98 customers were asked to fill in a satisfaction questionnaire. 45% feedback could be received. Theinvestigation indicated a high degree of customer satisfaction in term of quality, delivery time, interpretationand problem solving.n.2008 HighlightsEmployees satisfactionThe investigation indicates a positive feedback for most indicators and good awareness to critical issuessuch as the importance of innovative developments, quality, fair access to adequate resources for fulfillingproperly work tasks.2.5 Future PlansCERTECH strategy shall continue to rely on knowledge based differentiation and on high value added activitiesin line with sustainable development principles.Reliance on industry support shall remain key for the centre. This means that research shall more than everbe oriented towards well identified market and societal needs.A new dimension shall involve tighter networking with technology transfer organisations and research institutionsactive in complementary areas.22

3 AccountsAnnualReport2008

Balance sheet 2008Assets 2008 2007Fixed assets 484.030 250.246Equipment and tooling 484.030 250.246Analytical equipment 369.181 247.859Information technology 916 2.386Immobilizations and instalments 113.933AccountsCurrent assets 4.975.614 4.646.492Credits due at most within one year 1.325.708 1.059.273Accounts receivables 1.049.817 1.037.536Accounts receivables to be issued 198.740 21.081Other credits (VAT, etc) 77.151 656Short term cash investments 500.000 521.612Cash 2.884.393 2.889.435Financial investments 1.499.999Bank accounts 1.384.257 2.889.340Petty cash 138 95Adustments (receivables) 265.513 176.172Total assets 5.459.644 4.896.73824

Balance sheet 2008Liabilities 2008 2007Reserves 3.955.435 3.803.724Permanent resources 1.466.935 1.466.935Accumulated reserves 978.939 976.216Investment subsidies 151.389 2.400Social reserve 1.358.173 1.358.173Provision for contingencies and losses 155.404 155.404Debt 1.348.804 937.609Accounts payable within one year 638.399 528.101Trade creditors 402.019 268.204Fiscal and social liabilities 236.380 259.897Other liabilities (cash advances) 710.405 409.509AccountsTotal liabilities 5.459.644 4.896.73825

Income statement 20082008 2007Turnover 3.176.151 2.908.870Contract research 2.126.841 2.106.518Research subsidies 748.516 550.266Other revenues 300.794 252.086AccountsExpenses 3.306.761 3.037.176Supplies and services 831.386 826.006Subcontracting 116.532 103.610Salaries 2.189.965 2.111.242Depreciation, provisions and loss of value 137.565 -9.957Exceptional expenses 4.975 6.274Financial revenues 109.202 143.585Depreciation subsidy allowance 28.160 73.750Other income 81.041 69.835Financial expenses 1.812 1.853Exceptional revenues 12.159 214.028Exceptional expenses 4.885 0Taxes 7.671 10.429Profit 2.723 217.025The reduction in 2008 results relates to delays in implementation of acquired research subsidies and toresearch equipment investments.26

CERTECH ManagementThe Board of Directors• Prof. R. Legras, President(UCL)•Prof. J. Hermia• Prof. C. Bailly(UCL)• Prof. E. Gaigneaux(UCL)• Prof. R Keunings,Prorector for Sciences (UCL)• Mr D Opfergelt,Head of cabinet of General Administrator• Mr M JudkiewiczDirector, Marketing, Proviron• Mr P. BusquinMember of European parliament• Mr F. BlondelCEO of IBT• Dr G DebrasR&D Director, TOTAL Petrochemicals• DR L LerotR&D Director, Solvay• Dr L LangerCEO Matrio• Dr J.-C. VanoverveltManager R&D, CYTEC• P.ParisiHSE Manager, MacTacGeneral ManagerDr B.H. May graduated in chemistry. He completed a PhD in inorganic chemistry before joining in 1973MONSANTO company in R&D. He has led several new product and process developments. In 1999 he joinedCertech as General Manager.The Scientific Advisory Board of CERTECH• Prof. P. BertrandSurface chemistry characterization (UCL)• Prof. J. DevauxPolymer physics and chemistry (UCL)• Prof. P. RouxhetInterface chemistry and biomaterials (UCL)• Prof. M. DevillersInorganic chemistry and Catalysis (UCL)• Prof. J. De WildeMaterials and Process Engineering (UCL)• Prof. J. Marchand-BrynaertOrganic Chemistry (UCL)•Prof. O. RiantOrganic Chemistry (UCL)• Prof. I.E. Marko (UCL)Organic Chemistry (UCL)• Prof. J.-F. Gohy (UCL)Macromolecular Chemistry (UCL)27

Industrial Steering CommitteeThe Industrial Steering Committee is made up of a cross section of CERTECH customer base. It helps theCentre to better address Industrial needs.• Dr J-C Vanovervelt.Director Cytec• Dr Momtaz ArdeshirSenior Departmental Manager Solvay S.A.• Dr Y JongenDirector IBA SA• Mr D GeuningManager Sonaca SA• Dr N HaucourtR&D Manager Chemical Projects,Group Issue Manager Recticel• Dr G DebrasR&D Director, TOTAL Petrochemicals• DR L LerotR&D Director, Solvay• Dr L LangerCEO Matrio• Mr M JudkiewiczDirector, Marketing, ProvironIndependent accountant• Deloitte fiduciaireAuditor• Delvaux, Fronville, Servais et associés28

BRUXELLESNivellesMarche-lezEcaussinnesE19Sortie 20FeluyN27A54Le RœulxSeneffePont-a-CellesMONSN59GodarvilleThieuLa LouvièreN27Sortie 10E42AnderluesCERTECH asbl(CEntre de Ressources TEchnologiques en CHimie)Rue Jules Bordet - Zone industrielle CB-7180 Seneffe - BELGIUMTVA BE 0470.677.454 - ING 370-1128214-94Tél. +32 64 520 211 - Fax. +32 64 520 210 - e-mail:

CERTECH asbl(CEntre de Ressources TEchnologiques en CHimie)Rue Jules Bordet - Zone industrielle CB-7180 Seneffe - BELGIUMTél. +32 64 520 211 - Fax. +32 64 520 210 - e-mail: info@certech.bewww.certech.beWith support of the European Unionand the Government of Wallon Region

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines