New disruptive platform accelerates sustainable chemical production in Europe

PERFORM project that seeks to curb carbon emissions from the chemical industry announced as a finalist in the upcoming EU Sustainable Energy Awards.

[More about the EUSEW Awards]

Chemical companies in Europe will soon be able to develop and test new chemical production routes, resulting in reduced pollution and production costs. This is made possible through the EU-funded PERFORM project and its newly developed PowerPlatform plant. 

“In PERFORM we are innovating to reduce CO2 emissions during chemical production. This is done via a two-fold approach: first, by using bio-based raw materials and secondly through electrification and the use of renewable energy during production,“ explains Dhruva Marathe, Process Development Engineer at TNO. “Once developed and tested via the PowerPlatform, these more sustainable chemicals can then be further commercialised.“

Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, PERFORM uses a multilevel approach and already proves to be effective. So far, the project team has reached many milestones including the selection of bio-based feedstocks (such as glucose) and what components need to be removed in order to suit their purposes. In addition, a system for the production of PERFORM chemicals – biobased carboxylic acids – has been designed, with a pilot-scale electrochemical reactor and lab-scale product purification units having been constructed. 

Companies will benefit from the research output of PERFORM both as a means to render their production processes more environmentally benign, as well as a way to reduce the costs of their processes, and therefore boost the EU’s competitiveness in this field. This is particularly true in the case of their disruptive technology which is arriving at new, more efficient, chemical production routes. One such example of this includes multi-step chemical processes taking place in a single electrochemical cell. 

“Central to our work is the development of an open-access flexible PowerPlatform plant which will be made available to both research institutions and the chemical industry in order to develop and upscale their processes. We hope that new innovations and impact continue after the end of the project,“ says Roman Latsuzbaia, Research Scientist from TNO and Technical Lead in the project. 
As the intended end-users, industry partners have been involved throughout the project. “They are testing the materials that we are producing through the project and by involving them we not only validate the results but ensure they will be implemented and commercialised,“ continues Roman. 

If successful, the project will boast up to a 35% improvement of energy efficiency, 45% reduction in CO2 emissions and 35% improvement of resource efficiency in the chemical production process. The project team is confident they will achieve these results thanks to its strong consortium and collaboration between 11 partners from seven countries, including chemical companies, academia and research institutes. ​ 

Innovators working for a clean, secure and energy efficient Europe 

PERFORM is one of three finalists shortlisted for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2021 in the Innovation category. The award recognises outstanding EU-funded activities that show an original and innovative path toward the clean energy transition. The two other contenders in the category are LIFE-DIADEME and RenOnBill. 

LIFE-DIADEME is an Italian project that offers a low-cost way to save energy in public lighting while monitoring environmental conditions. RenOnBill is a project that uses on-bill financing schemes to increase uptake of residential building renovations.

EU Sustainable Energy Awards recognise champions of 2030 climate and energy targets

Twelve outstanding individuals and projects are highlighted at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2021 for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Finalists were chosen from a list of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. The awards have four categories - Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy and Young Energy Trailblazer – as well as the Citizen’s Award, which will be received by one of the projects in the first two categories. Prizes will be awarded by an expert jury (for Engagement and Innovation), and by citizens via a public vote, which is now open until 22 October. The five winners will be announced on Monday 25 October during EUSEW 2021. 

EUSEW 2021

EUSEW 2021 runs from 25 to 29 October 2021, under the theme ‘Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System’. Taking place ahead of the decisive COP 26, the event brings together energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia and civil society representatives to discuss how forward-looking policies for decarbonisation, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and many others comprising the European Green Deal, can help rebuild a better and more resilient society and economy.

EUSEW 2021 is held as an online event once again, with more opportunities than ever to connect, engage, network and reflect on the biggest issues in clean energy in Europe and beyond.

Registrations for participants and for media are now open

For interview requests with the EUSEW 2021 Award finalists or additional media information, please contact 



The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is the biggest event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe. The 16th edition of EUSEW will take place online on 25-29 October 2021 under the theme: ‘Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System’. The Week consists of a 3-day digital policy conference, the EU Sustainable Energy Awards Ceremony, the Debate with Ambassadors, the second European Youth Energy Day, as well as 1:1 video meetings, virtual stands, and other networking activities. Participants will also have access to an extended programme and digital sustainable energy events, known as Sustainable Energy Days, which will take place all over Europe throughout the months of September and October 2021.

Launched in 2006 by the European Commission, EUSEW was organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) until 31 March 2021, and as of 1 April 2021 is organised by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), in close cooperation with the Directorate-General for Energy.