Materials for high temperature energy applications: the EERA/EuMat position paper

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The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is an alliance of European public research centres and universities: brings together around 250 research centres and universities across 30 countries. Actively working together in 17 joint research programmes (the EERA Joint Programmes), they build on national research initiatives and work on shared priorities and research projects. EERA also works together with industry stakeholders to coordinate research and innovation priorities.

Energy research and innovation is an essential pillar of the Energy Union that needs to adequately reflect European policy ambitions for a sustainable, affordable and secure energy future. In this context, developing materials for high temperature energy applications is crucial as several energy sources inherently require high temperature in order to function efficiently.

Materials in operation are subject to degradation mechanisms which are intensified at high temperatures, especially in contact with aggressive fluids.

The transition towards a low-carbon energy production requires the use and development of materials capable of maintaining their integrity and properties for a sufficiently long time at high temperature, with fluctuating thermal cycles, and in contact with aggressive environments.

These materials would have a clear added-value in terms of improved sustainability, decreased costs, increased efficiency and competitiveness.

Due to the multiple technological challenges, the development of high temperature resistant materials requires a common cross-cutting research approach for the benefit of various lowcarbon sectors and technologies (e.g. fuel cells & hydrogen, geothermal, concentrated solar, sustainable nuclear and bioenergy):

  • integrated use of European specialized facilities and infrastructures for materials’ qualification;
  • a better understanding of the processes affecting materials, notably through advanced modelling;
  • new materials’ solutions and fabrication processes leading to improved properties and lower costs;
  • consideration of circular economy from the selection of raw materials to the development of recycling and reuse techniques.

This cross-cutting research approach will enable an optimal use of human, infrastructural and financial resources, while promoting cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary innovation, with important societal impact.

Read the position paper: