News from Grein Research

Grein Research awarded GeoHEX grant

Grein Research has been awarded a grant from the EU Horizon 2020 research program together with eleven other partners from across Europe and one from Asia. The project entitled “GeoHEX — Advanced material for cost-efficient and enhanced heat exchange performance for geothermal application“ starts in November 2019 and runs for three years.

Heat exchangers are critical components of geothermal facilities, both for electricity generation and district heating. However, geothermal fluids are notoriously corrosive to metals as well as containing a large amount of dissolved minerals. Therefore corrosion and scaling pose serious problems to the operation of heat exchangers in a geothermal environment. Since heat exchangers can account for a substantial proportion of the total capital cost of a geothermal plant, it is imperative to develop cost-effective solutions to these problems.

The objective of the GeoHEX project is to develop novel coatings for heat exchanger surfaces, which reduce corrosion and scaling as well as improve heat transfer performance. This will substantially reduce the capital and maintenance cost of geothermal power plants and lower their environmental impact. Thus, GeoHEX will significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing energy security. Grein Research will lead the work on new metal coatings based on the materials platform developed in the recently completed “Corrosion Resistant Nanocoatings” project, which was funded by the Icelandic Technology Development Fund.

More information can be found on the Horizon 2020 website:

Photo by Ásgeir Eggertsson.

Project started for AGC Glass Europe

Grein Research has started work on a project for AGC Glass Europe. AGC Glass  Europe is the European branch of AGC, the world leader in flat glass production. AGC Glass  Europe runs more than 100 sites across Europe with 16,000 employees which produce and distribute flat glass for the building industry, automotive industry and various other sectors such as solar power and high-tech industry.


Collaboration agreement with Atmonia

Grein Research and Atmonia have signed a collaboration agreement on the development of new catalysts for ammonia production. Industrially synthesized ammonia is essential to modern agriculture, as ammonia is a key ingredient in fertilizer. Annually, almost 200 million tons ammonia are produced using the Haber Bosch method.  However, this method demands high temperatures and high pressures, and hydrogen as a reactant. The Atmonia process is a revolutionary method for ammonia synthesis which relies on specific phases of catalyst materials. This process is the key to sustainable fertilizer production.

Project started with nanoPrecision Products

Grein Research has started a project with California based nanoPrecision Products Inc, the world leader in complex material forming with nanometer accuracies and tolerances. nanoPrecision Products’ groundbreaking technology revolutionizes methods to align and hold electrical, optical, mechanical, fluidic and other devices, and is currently changing the face of fiber optic connectors. Grein Research’s work with nanoPrecision Products involves materials physics and surface coatings.

Grein Research acquires new sputtering system

Grein Research has acquired a new sputtering system from Polyteknik AS. The system has three 4 inch magnetrons and is capable of coating wafers up to four inches in diameter or objects of comparable size. The system has a fast turnaround time due to its ease of opening and the fast changing of magnetron targets. It is ideally suited to fast deposition of metallic coatings and amorphous alloys as well as low-to-intermediate temperature deposition of nitrides and oxides.

The system is a welcome addition to the ultrahigh vacuum deposition chambers already in place at the University of Iceland Nanotechnology Centre.

Grein Research receives grant from the Icelandic Centre for Research

Grein Research has received a grant from the Technology Development Fund of the Icelandic Centre for Research to develop protective nanocoatings for geothermal power generation applications. The project is a collaboration between Grein, the University of Iceland and the Innovation Center Iceland and has a duration of three years.

Geothermal power generation involves the operation of steam turbines in a high temperature, highly corrosive environment. The degradation of turbine parts (most notably the turbine blades) contributes to a high maintenance cost of geothermal power installations. Coating of turbine parts with corrosion resistant hard coatings can significantly improve the lifetime of geothermal installations and allow operation at even higher temperatures with increased efficiency, thus contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions and increased sustainable energy production.

During the course of the project, Grein will carry out the development of tailored coatings with high temperature stability, high corrosion resistance and high hardness. A systematic screening of materials will be carried out and tests performed in geothermal boreholes. The most suitable candidates will then be selected for upscaling to industrial processing.