KETs Impact: The SusChem flagship for flexible, continuous chemical production


The recent SusChem White paper ‘Impact: Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in Horizon Europe’ included a number of success stories highlighting publicly funded innovation involving KETs and the SusChem Newsroom is featuring a selection of these fruitful 'SusChem inspired' initiatives.

KETs are technologies selected for their ability to address global challenges, support the development of new products, and stimulate economic growth.

Sustainable chemistry is essential to the technological advance of KETs including advanced materials, advanced manufacturing technologies, industrial biotechnology, micro and nanoelectronics, nanotechnology and photonics. SusChem's key enabling technologies provide the critical building blocks for the solutions needed to achieve a sustainable low carbon circular economy. You can find out more here.

Our fifth success story features one of SusChem’s original Flagship projects from FP7 - the F3 Factory – and one of its seven case studies. F3 stood for fast, flexible, future factory. Launched in 2009, the €30 million EU-funded project was a major public-private sector initiative under FP7 that sought to define and demonstrate a new paradigm in modular sustainable chemical production technology. You can find more information on all seven F3 Factory case studies here.

Modularised solutions enabling solvent-free process

Improve the Competitiveness of the European Chemical Industry – F3 Factory

Public funding creates cross-sectorial collaboration, breakthrough technology advancement and fast-track-to-market of new products


BASF was part of the consortium behind the “F3 Factory” project. This consortium – consisting of 26 partners from academia and industry – aimed to develop an approach for radical modular process design. This concept enabled significant process intensification and at least 25% less energy consumption.

How was the breakthrough innovation achieved? 

The concept of modularised solutions was investigated for different industrial processes. Results from academia were transferred in business case studies and were demonstrated at commercial scale in an open access backbone plant for modular continuous production (INVITE Research Centre). BASF together with Bayer Technology Services have collaborated to demonstrate the concept of multi-product, small-to-medium scale production for high viscous polymers in a solvent-free manufacturing process. This collaboration was supported by Technical University Eindhoven and the University of Paderborn.


  • In addition to the technological advancement achieved in this project, the transfer from batch to continuous of a new solvent-free polymerisation process has demonstrated both cost (30% reduction of energy demand) and environmental (100% solvent reduction) impact for the production of highly viscous polymers.
  • The modularisation concept investigated in the demonstration plant furthermore allows a reduction of investment cost (up to 40%) compared to conventional processes and reduced time-to-market (up to 50%).

More information
F3 Factory 'Flexible, fast and future production processes' (FP7 GA 228867) 

Read the SusChem White Paper ‘Impact: Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in Horizon Europe