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Walter Tosto is a company of the Tosto Group, a group of companies with production plants in Italy (Chieti, Ortona, Mantua) and in Romania (Bucharest and Oltenita). With more than 70 years of experience our company is one of the biggest manufacturers of critical process equipment in Europe for the Petrochemical, Chemical, Oil & Gas, Fertiliser and Energy industries capable of offering mechanical design, fabrication, construction and supply capabilities with a combination of skills in engineering and manufacturing.

 

Walter Tosto is the leader of WP3 (Reactor development) and responsible for Task 3.4 (Reactor mechanical design and CFD). Other than that we are involved in Task 5.3 (Construction of the pilot plant) and Task 5.4 (Commissioning and start-up of the pilot unit). 

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Learn more about Walter Tostos contribution to the ēQATOR project by reading the interview below, in which Bora Aydin explains the role of the organization within the project and the vision and goals that shape the development of ēQATOR reactor technologies.

Bora Aydin

INTERVIEW

Please introduce yourself and your role in the project!

My name is Bora Aydin. I am working as a business development manager at Walter Tosto for almost three years and I am following the activities related to hydrogen and circular economy. As a background, I studied chemical engineering, Bachelor, Masters and PhD. I worked as a process engineer and for some time as a project manager in different countries such as Canada, Netherlands and finally in Italy. In the ēQATOR project I my colleagues and I are working on all the activities related to tasks three in work package three and on work package five. 

 
How did you learn about the project and become a partner? 

 
I have been in contact with SINTEF to first of all introduce our activities to them, uh, some years ago. And at that time I had also underlined our interest to the two managers of SINTEF that if there are opportunities, Walter Tosto is interested in participating to the consortium. After some time this proposal came and I was put in contact with Richard to start writing the ēQATOR project. 

 
What is your organisation's role in the project, and what expertise do you bring to the table? 

 
We are a leading the work package 3 which is called "WP3 reactor development". Yep, our role in the project is first of all mechanical design. And then, secondly, material selection, and thirdly fabrication of equipment of ēQATOR as well as the pilot plant itself. The other activities that we are involved in are in work package 5, which is related to testing the ēQATOR pilot unit, related to startup and commissioning, as well as, of course, the construction of the pilot plant. 

 

How is your organisation collaborating with other partners in the project? 

 
We are in communication - depending on the scope and depending on the task, we are in bilateral communication with some partners and we also had some initiatives to organise some calls with partners. Especially for work package 3, where we are leader, we have to be in contact with the involved partners to be able to clarify some of our doubts and, if possible, to exchange some experiences, to make some activities more clear in comparison to the period when we wrote the project. In terms of execution and realisation, things become a bit more - not sophisticated, but more complicated, and we try to be in communication with them as much as possible. 

 
The first one is SINTEF because we have one particular topic, which is - let's say one of the beginning of the topics of work package 3 in selecting material and metal dusting. And the second one is NextChem, which is doing the engineering part, design, and simulations, where their documentation, their deliverables will be needed for us, for the mechanical design of the reactor. Third one is the company KIB, because they wanted to propose some non-metallic materials, from Germany, and we wanted to understand that from them, how these non-metallic materials can be evaluated. And the fourth one is MEAM, from Belgium, because they would like to insert microwave technology and we are currently in communication with them. And the other one is the scientific and technology park of Abruzzo, because they have to slowly start some documentation and administrative preparations for the pilot plant allocation risk assessment to save the analysis before the plant will be designed and constructed. And the other topic that we are in contact on with them is the selection of material, because they have a good background and they have also laboratories for mechanical tests. 

How do your project activities contribute to the goal of the project to achieve a cost-competitive renewable methanol production with near zero CO2 emissions? 


Yeah, the cost competitive solution is important. Our idea is now to understand what type of materials already in this phase of ēQATOR can be used, which - let's say, gives the right solution to the existing plant scale of the reactors, but also to give a solution, even now, for the future of these reactors, when - or if, there will be a chance of doing a scaled-up version of the pilot plant, this is one of our roles. Our second role is - in terms of cost competitiveness, uh, not alone, but of course together with related partners, to see if the size of the reactor and some of its accessories - which has also additional costs, as you can imagine - can be minimised. So that in the end, we say that it is an efficient and costwise optimised reactor. We have a lot of work done in the past, we are in this industry for almost 70 years. Even if we are working with industrial scale equipment and reactors. In the case of ēQATOR, our know-how can be scaled down or used partly also for that aspect. There is another aspect which is important to Walter Tosto, I think, in the ēQATOR project, and that is the security and standards and norms point of view. Since we are using these directives at European level, during our design, this consciousness of safety, reliability can also be used in this project. 

 

Regarding your tasks, what do you expect are or will be the greatest challenges during the project? 

The biggest challenges will be inserting or integrating two innovative heating systems in the reactor, to be able to say that it is answering to the process conditions, but it is also that the solution is answering to the heating system requirements. This part is, I think, quite challenging. And this challenge will be faced during the design. There is one thing which is interesting in ēQATOR other than other important points, and that is building a reactor with microwave. This is not something that many projects are handling, at least as far as I know. And building that with a certain level of production capacity, in pilot scale and hopefully in a good size of pilot scale, a bit bigger size of pilot scale, where microwave heating is working, that will be a good step for the ēQATOR project in terms of innovation and in terms of, let's say, European authorities during the end of the project. 

 

If you had one wish regarding the project, what would it be? 

Seeing the industrialization of equator plant. To see that it has a market. To see that it takes attraction from biogas to methanol industry successfully. 

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