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NEWSLETTER 08/2020

PREFACE
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
As 2020 progresses we realize that it took a turn none of us would have expected at the beginning of the year. The coronavirus still has a firm grip on our everyday lives while we try to arrange working from home or at least without creating large crowds of people. Of course, this also affected our International Conference Fuel Science – From Production to Propulsion. The 8th edition of our annual conference took place online instead of at the Eurogress in Aachen –  and, may we say, it still was a success! We had a great time during these three days filled with interesting talks and networking. You can read all about it in our conference report. Let’s hope the 9th International Conference from 22 – 24 June 2021 can take place in Aachen again!
In this edition of our newsletter we want to introduce you to two researchers of the Institute for Environmental Research: Dr. Miaomiao Du and Dr. Sebastian Heger and their colleagues will tell us all about their projects CA3-1-02: Green Toxicology for the Prediction of Fuel Mixtures and CA3-1-03: The effects of bio-hybrid fuel exhaust on human health.
With the uncertain situation, planning events is a bit tricky at the moment. Nevertheless, we want to inform you about any upcoming events that are planned to take place either online or on site in our section “Save the Date”. Any short-term changes can be found on the respective websites of the event.
And as always, we will give you an overview about FSC’s latest news and awards received by FSC members.

Enjoy the lecture and stay healthy!
 
Stefan Pischinger
NEWS
Interview with COO of the FSC Bastian Lehrheuer
In an interview with FutureFuels.Blog - an offer of the Institute for Heat and Oil Technology e. V. (IWO) - COO of the Cluster of Excellence Bastian Lehrheuer talks about the role of future fuels in Germany and in climate protection, about the pros and cons of future fuels, and presents the work of the Fuel Science Center.

Click here to find the interview in German on FutureFuels.Blog
RWTH develops "PV1000" ventilator
Due to the fast epidemic flow of the coronavirus, hospitals worldwide were faced with the fact that they had a devastating lack of ventilation beds. Since April, scientists from RWTH University have been searching for a solution for cases in which conventional ventilators are in short supply. Started by the Chair of Medical Information Technology (MedIT), the Institute of Automotive Engineering (ika), and the Chair of Embedded Software (i11), and supervised by Prof. Steffen Leonhardt there are now 30 volunteers working on this project. Together with numerous supporters from the regional economy and other RWTH institutions they have developed an emergency ventilator named "People's Ventilator PV 1000", suitable and robust enough for use in intensive care units for several weeks. The graphical user interface is currently being tested by experts throughout the country in order to gain feedback for a first prototype.

Click here to find more information
Hydrogen for future
The envisaged energy system transformation poses a great challenge for researchers from all across the European Union. Focusing on the goal of being climate-friendly in 2050 places high expectations on hydrogen since hydrogen technologies play a major role in achieving this goal. Hydrogen is supposed to take on tasks such as serving as resource container for renewable energies or allowing its use in terms of mobility. Forschungszentrum Jülich is highly committed to researching the different aspects of hydrogen, for example, its cost-effective and sustainable production, how to store and transport it in the most effective way or the research of a system analysis as energy system of the future. Regarding the many aspects of research, the plan of Forschungszentrum Jülich is to strengthen its role in innovation processes, especially with platforms such as iNEW and the Living Lab Energy Campus. The project "Inkubator für Nachhaltige Elektrochemische Wertschöpfung" (iNEW) wants to connect developers and users to help accelerate their exchange of experiences. Living Lab Energy Campus (LLEC) is a futuristic idea of having a real-life laboratory for the energy system transformation, testing the new research outcomes on its effectiveness and suitability for daily use. With those steps, the Forschungszentrum Jülich is taking a next move for, firstly, helping the climate and, secondly, supplying the population with enough energy while keeping the industry competitive.

Click here to find more information
Food for Future Mobility
Researchers from the Max Planck Institutes Mühlheim (Germany) are working together with Prof. Walter Leitner on the production of biofuels made of energy crops such as grain that can be used simultaneously for food and fuel production. In contrast to first generation biofuels which are in direct competition with food production, these second generation low-emission and economically competitive products can be produced from organic materials that are not suitable for food such as straw or waste from tree care work. The magazine of the Max Planck Society "Max Planck Forschung" recently published a detailed article on the approaches, processes and challenges. Their podcast episode "Wirtschaft auf dem grünen Zweig" also takes up the topic.

Click here to find the magazine and here for the podcast episode
Position Paper: Energy transition
In a position paper titled "Energiewende: verlässlich, machbar, energieoffen" ("Energy transition: reliable, feasible, open to energy"), more than 50 professors from universities as well as non-university research institutions all over Germany propose an open-technology approach to a global climate-neutral energy system. Scientists from Darmstadt Technical University, RWTH Aachen University and Duisburg-Essen University compiled the position paper in which they put a focus on the thermal use of chemical energy sources. One of its authors is Heinz Pitsch (Institute Director ITV). Further supporting the paper are FSC-members Walter Leitner, Reinhold Kneer, Wolfgang Schröder, and Stefan Pischinger.

Click here to find the whole position paper
More solar power thanks to lockdown
Scientists of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg and partners from MIT and solar company Cleantech Solar were able to prove a positive side-effect of the Corona lockdown: they discovered a decline of man-made air pollution which could among other things be seen in the performance of solar systems. More sunlight was able to reach the Photovoltaic systems which thus led them to produce more power. The main focus of their research was put on the Indian metropolis Delhi.

Click here for more information
RWTH scientists test FFP2 masks
Medical workers are currently more than ever dependent on their protective equipment. Some of this equipment is now also being purchased from new providers. In order to support hospitals with their quality control of this equipment and thus ensure the safe supply of medical workers, scientists at RWTH Aachen University - together with partners from the region - developed a three-stage test procedure for FFP2 masks and filter materials.

Click here to find more information




The MPI für Kohleforschung produces hand disinfectants 
Since the end of March, the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung has been producing disinfectants for the Mülheim rescue and health service to support them in the current pandemic crisis. Under the direction of Dr. Nils Theyssen, the disinfectants are produced in a specially designed production facility in the institute's pilot plant. About 500 liters are produced daily in accordance with the strict requirements of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Click here to find more information
Virtual UROP 2020
Every year, the International Office organizes the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) International, in which American and Canadian undergraduate students come to RWTH Aachen University for a ten-week research internship at various institutes and chairs - including the Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering (IMA). This year, the exchange had to be cancelled but the internship is still happening virtually and across several thousand kilometers. The International Office set up a broad supporting program consisting of tours, a buddy program and a welcome event - all digital of course so that 25 undergraduates from North America are able to do research at 13 participating RWTH institutes and chairs from 7 faculties.

Click here to find more information
Regina Palkovits' admission to the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Arts
Regina Palkovits, Chair holder of the Chair of Heterogeneous Catalysis and Chemical Technology (ITMC) was admitted to the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. The Academy was founded in 1970 and brings together the leading researchers from NRW. For more than ten years, its members have also included renowned artists. It thus promotes dialogue across disciplinary boundaries and generations as well as exchange with society.

Click here to find more information
DFG establishes new priority program for Machine Learning in Process Engineering
14 new priority programs will be established by the German Research Foundation (DFG) - RWTH Aachen University will take on the coordination. One of these programs titled "Machine Learning in Process Engineering. Knowledge Meets Data: Interpretability, Extrapolation, Reliability, Trust" will be at RWTH Aachen and coordinated by Alexander Mitsos, director of the Chair of Process Systems Engineering. These priority programs investigate the scientific foundations of current or emerging research areas and are funded by the DFG for six years.

Click here to find more information
INSIDE FSC - GET TO KNOW THE CLUSTER
Project CA3-1-02: Green Toxicology for the Prediction of Fuel Mixtures
Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell us what role your project has in the Fuel Science Center?

My name is Sebastian Heger. Me and Karsten Braun are working on the integration of (eco)toxicological tools in the development process of fuels. By using computational toxicity prediction tools and toxicological biotests we can identify potentially harmful fuel candidates or fuel mixtures very early in the development. Our teamwork contributes to a green fuel design within the FSC.
How would you explain your projct in just one sentence?

By integrating (eco)toxicological test systems in the early fuel development potentially harmful fuel candidates can be identified and potentially excluded from the fuel-design process, so that research can focus on the design of less toxic biofuels.
What are the objectives of the object?
 
We aim to identify potentially harmful fuel candidates by means of computational toxicity prediction tools and subsequent biotesting as early as possible in the development. Our work is characterized by the cooperation with many different partners in the cluster. We are always keeping an eye out for promising new fuel candidates so we can help by assessing their toxicity. The combination of modelling and biotesting is diverse and exciting
What is the work like in your project? What distinguishes it from previous research approaches?


In general, bioanalytical toxicity tests are rather novel tools as part of the development of biofuels. We use them as screening tests for the investigation of biofuel mixtures and for the subsequent prediction of mixture effects of varying biofuel mixtures. We are aiming to integrate the obtained information into a predictive design method for a model supported/based sustainability assessment. Considerations about the possible effects of bio-hybrid fuels on the environment are important not only for the economic perspective but also for their public acceptance. Prior to manufacturing and distribution, toxicity assessment of bio-hybrid fuels on the environment should be conducted in parallel to the bio-hybrid fuels development.

What are your main research topics/questions?

We aim to design a fuel which is less toxic than today’s fuels. This may sound trivial, but the modelling of the toxicity of complex chemical mixtures in silico is challenging on its own. Additionally, we are testing those substances in vitro and in vivo to determine direct adverse effects which provide its own set of challenges
What role does cooperation with other (technical) institutes play for your research? Which institutes do you cooperate with? What have you already investigated together?
 
The cooperation with institutes from other fields is of uttermost importance for us. Before we can provide any information on the toxicity of fuel candidates, we also require some input from other researchers within the Cluster. Obviously we need to know which substances are of interest for the FSC before we can do any testing. And we need this information as early as possible. Here we are working together with the AVT (Prof. Mitsos) on the integration of our toxicity data (and toxicity prediction tools) in their models. Moreover, our results on the toxicity of fuels can also be integrated into the framework of Life Cycle Assessments for bio-hybrid fuels (Jun. Prof. von der Aßen), providing a scientific basis for the predictive assessment of potential effects of bio-hybrid fuels on human health and the environment.
With regard to the Institute for Environmental Research: What is being researched in the institute and what are its goals?
 
The research at the Institute for Environmental Research covers a broad variety of topics from ecology to ecotoxicology, from environmental chemistry to modelling and simulation. The overall goal is to analyze the fate and toxicity of substances in environmental samples in a prospective and retrospective way and, where necessary, the remediation of chemicals released to the environment. Furthermore, modelling and simulation approaches are used, e.g., to predict or extrapolate the effect of pollutants on whole populations or ecosystems.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Fuel Science Center?
 

Sebastian: Working in a Cluster as interdisciplinary as the FSC is just great. Of course, it takes a while to understand what scientific language your colleagues are talking, but once you are past this small obstacle there is so much to learn! When I started studying biology, I would have never imagined that one day I would be sitting at a table with an engineer, a chemist and a communication scientist and discuss our project.

Karsten: I enjoy most that whatever question I may have about any aspect of the FSC, I can just pick up the phone or start a zoom meeting and I will soon be talking to an expert in the required field. This level of interdisciplinary work is great!

Project CA3-1-03: The effects of bio-hybrid fuel exhaust on human health
Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell us what role your project has in the Fuel Science Center?

My name is Miaomiao Du, a Junior Research Group (JRG) leader at the Institute for Environmental Research at the RWTH Aachen University. In 2015 I came from China to RWTH for my postdoc research, first working in TMFB, now in FSC. In my JRG, Jonas Daniel is doing his PhD thesis which focusses on the potential toxicity of freshly generated bio-hybrid fuel exhaust to human health. Our teamwork contributes to a green fuel design within the FSC.
How would you explain your project in just one sentence?

My project investigates the potential harmful effects of bio-hybrid fuel exhaust on human health to contribute to a near-to-zero emission and low toxicity fuel design.
What are the objectives of the project?

The goal of this project is to establish a rapid in vitro method for the early identification and characterization of adverse effects of bio-hybrid fuel exhaust on human health and to provide information for adaptive production routes and propulsion systems. The aim is to better understand the interactions between exhaust aerosol components and respiratory cell tissue to gain knowledge about how to reduce potential harmful effects of exhaust components.
What is the work like in your project? What distinguishes it from previous research approaches?

Previously, experiments dealing with exhaust toxicity are often conducted using cell culture within a liquid media and dosing of exhaust particle extracts. Ideally for biotests the components should be delivered to the biological test system in a manner that attempts to reflect the physicochemical composition of the exhaust in an ambient setting with consideration of factors such as aging, transport, dilution, and potential influences from other variables (e.g. interactions with pollutants). Therefore, in this study, exposure of human lung cells will be conducted at the air-liquid interface. Human-derived cell lines will be grown on microporous membranes supplied with media from the basolateral side while a direct and controlled exposure of whole bio-hybrid fuel exhaust at the apical side will be performed. After exposure, biological effects, e.g. cell viability, will be investigated. This experimental setup gives us the opportunity to create a realistic exposure scenario with a higher relevance to lung physiology.
What are your main research topics/questions?

The main research topic in my project is: is there an observable biological effect from exposing human lung cells to bio-hybrid fuel exhaust? Is there a linkage between the different fractions of the exhaust aerosol and the effects that leads to a main toxic driver? As a reference to bio-hybrid fuels, fossil fuels will be tested using the same test protocol. Furthermore, a comparison of raw and treated exhaust is planned to evaluate aftertreatment technologies.
What role does cooperation with other (technical) institutes play for your research? Which institutes do you cooperate with? What have you already investigated together?

Cooperation is crucial for our work! To assess the properties of potential fuel candidates we always have to keep an eye for current and future promising fuel candidates. Our fuel design partners within and outside of CA 3 provide us with this information and we provide toxicity data to them. Since toxicity is of high importance to the public, we cooperate with communication scientists (Prof. Ziefle) to analyze the social impact of fuels posing possible risks to human health. Further, our projects closely relate to “Competence Area 2” by providing said information in order to support the design of novel clean propulsion systems (Prof. Pitsch) and a highly efficient exhaust after-treatment system (Prof. Pischinger). Moreover, the results can also be integrated into the framework of Life Cycle Assessments for bio-hybrid fuels (Jun. Prof. von der Aßen) providing a scientific basis for the predictive assessment of potential effects of bio-hybrid fuel exhaust on human health.
With regard to the Institute for Environmental : What is being researched in the institute and what are its goals?

Within the institute, our colleague’s work varies from ecochemistry, ecology to ecotoxicology. The overall goal is to analyze the fate and toxicity of substances in environmental samples in a prospective and retrospective way and, where necessary, the remediation of chemicals released to the environment. We achieve this by monitoring environmental parameters, biotesting, modelling and simulation.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Fuel Science Center?

Miaomiao: For me, the most interesting part is interdisciplinary cooperation. We can go beyond our research area and learn a lot of new information.

Jonas: I enjoy working with scientists from different research fields within the cluster. Whenever I have the opportunity to learn something new, I am happy to do that and I am looking forward to upcoming cooperation.
AWARDS & PUBLICATIONS
Recognition of Excellence in Certain Fields
Carsten Bolm | Chair of Organic Chemistry II and Institute of Organic Chemistry | "Famos für Familie 2020" | This prize is awarded to university executives who have rendered outstanding services to family-friendly personnel management and who make it possible to reconcile family, care and career in an exemplary manner

Franziska Schoenebeck | Chair of Organic Chemistry I and Institute of Organic Chemistry | EROS Best Reagent Award 2020 | for the work of her group on the use of tetramethylammonium trifluoromethane thiolate

Heinz Pitsch | Institute for Combustion Technology | 2020 AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion Award | For seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding, theory, and computational modeling of turbulent combustion

Walter Leitner |  Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry | French-German "Georg Wittig-Victor Grignard" Prize of the Société Chimique de France (SCF) | Leitner and his team will receive the prize for their work in the field of homogeneous catalysis in supercritical CO2 medium (scCO2) and for their activity in all biomass transformation and valorization processes. | & | IOCF Lectureship & invitation as guest lecturer to the Japanese universities in Kyoto and Osaka
 
 
New Publications in the Fuel Science Center

Biotechnological upcycling of plastic waste and other non-conventional feedstocks in a circular economy | by Lars Mathias Blank, Tanja Narancic, Jörg Mampel, Till Tiso, and Kevin O’Connor | in "Current Opinion in Biotechnology" 62 | Read it here

Graph Neural Networks for Prediction of Fuel Ignition Quality | by Artur Schweidtmann, Jan Rittig, Andrea König, Martin Grohe, Alexander Mitsos, and Manuel Dahmen | Read it here

Assessing public acceptance of the life cycle of CO2-based fuels: Does information make the difference? | by Julia Offermann-van Heek, Katrin Arning, André Sternberg, André Bardow, Martina Ziefle | in "Energy Policy" 143 | Read it here

Early-stage evaluation of emerging CO2 utilization technologies at low technology readiness levels | by Kosan Roh, André Bardow, Dominik Bongartz, Jannik Burre, Wonsuk Chung, Sarah Deutz, Dongho Han, Matthias Heßelmann, Yannik Kohlhaas, Andrea König, Jeehwan S. Lee, Raoul Meys, Simon Völker, Matthias Wessling, Jay H. Lee, and Alexander Mitsos | in "Green Chemistry" 22 (12) | Read it here

Global optimization of Gaussian processes | by Artur M. Schweidtmann, Dominik Bongartz, Daniel Grothe, Tim Kerkenhoff, Xiaopeng Lin, Jaromil Najman, and Alexander Mitsos | Read it here

Collaborative investigation of the internal flow and near-nozzle flow of an eight-hole gasoline injector (Engine Combustion Network Spray G) | by Chinmoy K Mohapatra, David P Schmidt, Brandon A Sforozo, Katarzyna E Matusik, Zongyu Yue, Christopher F Powell, Sibendu Som, Balaji Mohan, Hong G Im, Jihad Badra, Mathis Bode, Heinz Pitsch, Dimitrios Papoulias, Kshitij Neroorkar, Samir Muzaferija, Pedro Martí-Aldaraví, María Martínez | Read it here

Double bond localization in unsaturated rhamnolipid precursors 3-(3-hydroxyalkanoyloxy)alkanoic acids by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry applying online Paternò–Büchi reaction | by Viola Jeck, Matti Froning, Till Tiso, Lars M. Blank & Heiko Hayen | in "Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry" 2020 | Read it here

One-pot dual catalysis for the hydrogenation of heteroarenes and arenes | by Basujit Chatterjee, Deepti Kalsi, Akash Kaithal, Alexis Bordet, Walter Leitner, and Chidambaram Gunanathan | in "Catalysis Science & Technology" | Read it here

“Risky transitions?” Risk perceptions, public concerns, and energy infrastructure in Germany | by Anika Linzenich, Barbara Sophie Zaunbrecher, Martina Ziefle | in "Energy Research & Social Science" 68 | Read it here

Machine Learning Applications for Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics | by Ulf W. Liebal, An N. T. Phan, Malvika Sudhakar, Karthik Raman, and Lars M. Blank | in "Metabolites" 10 (6) | Read it here

Towards a holistic solvent screening: On the importance of fluid dynamics in a rate-based extraction model | by Jan Kampwerth, Benedikt Weber, Julia Rußkamp, Sebastian Kaminski, and Andreas Jupke | in "Chemical Engineering Science" 227 | Read it here

Life Cycle Assessment for the Design of Chemical Processes, Products, and Supply Chains | by Johanna Kleinekorte, Lorenz Fleitmann, Marvin Bachmann, Arne Kätelhön, Ana Barbosa-Póvoa, Niklas von der Assen, and André Bardow | in "Annual review of chemical and biomolecular engineering" 11 (1) | Read it here

An electro-Fenton process coupled with nanofiltration for enhanced conversion of cellobiose to glucose | by Robert Gregor Keller, J. Weyand, Jan-Bernd  Vennekötter, Johannes  Kamp | in "Catalysis Today" | Read it here

Exploiting the Natural Diversity of RhlA Acyltransferases for the Synthesis of the Rhamnolipid Precursor 3-(3-Hydroxyalkanoyloxy)Alkanoic Acid | by Andrea Germer, Till Tiso, Conrad Müller, Beate Behrens, Christian Vosse, Karen Scholz, Matti Froning, Heiko Hayen, Lars M. Blank | in "Applied and environmental microbiology" 86(6) | Read it here

Risk-benefit perceptions and public acceptance of Carbon Capture and Utilization | by Katrin Arning, Julia Offermann-van Heek, André Sternberg, André Bardow, and Martina Ziefle | in "Environmental innovation and societal transitions" 35 | Read it here
SAVE THE DATE
4th IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications (CCTA 2020)
Initially planned as an in-person conference in Montreal, the 4th Conference on Control Technology and Applications (CCTA 2020) is now held as an online conference. Next to plenary sessions, participants get the opportunity to be part of interesting workshops on topics in control technology and applications, organized and executed by international experts.
 
DECHEMA Summer Special "CO2 World Tour: Utilization- From Demo to Market"
The first DECHEMA Summer Special focuses on Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) and takes participants on a virtual expedition to five of the world's most outstanding CCU plants in Iceland, Germany, Australia, Switzerland and Canada. Participants will be able to see how CO2 can be used to produce chemicals, fuels and building materials, and how it can be captured from the atmosphere for further processing. Experts from public bodies, industry, academia and NGOs will also be virtually present to discuss how research findings can be transferred on a large scale into practice.

Click here for more information
10th ProcessNet Annual Meeting and 34th DECHEMA Annual Meeting of Biotechnologists 2020
Under the motto "Processes for Future", the 10th ProcessNet Annual Meeting and 34th DECHEMA Annual Meeting on Biotechnology will focus on the question of what contribution biotechnology, chemical engineering and process technology can make to environmental and climate protection. At the event, new concepts and ideas will be presented in the fields of biotechnology, fluid process engineering, the raw material and energy turnaround, education for the future and many more. Besides lecture formats, the sessions will also include interviews and expert discussions. A large focus will be put on the poster exhibition in which participants can take a virtual stroll to take a look at the e-posters and chat with the exhibitors.

Click here for more information
29th Aachen Colloqium Automobile and Engine Technology
With 1800 participants from all over the world in the recent years, the Aachen Colloquium has developed to the largest and most important congress in the areas of Automobile and Engine Technology in Europe. This year, the Colloquium will also take place as a digital conference including international exhibitors, cutting-edge technical presentations and plenary speeches of high-ranking guests. Trendsetting topics of research and development in the areas of Automobile and Engine Technology will be reported and discussed and there are various opportunities to interact and network with participants, speakers and exhibitors.

Click here for more information
Carbon2Chem® Conference
Being part of the Carbon2Chem series in Berlin this year, the third conference about sustainable chemical conversion in industry covers topics such as the achieved goals and the existing challenges for the implementation of innovative approaches and the support of the project regarding industrial transformation. 18 German partners from industry and research areas joined the project of Carbon2Chem® in 2016. Founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research the focus lies on finding solutions to reduce the production of CO2 in industrial processes and turning it into climate-friendly material.

Click here for more information
8th International Conference on Fuel Science
Fuel Science - From Production to Propulsion
June 23 to 25, 2020
The 8th International Conference on "Fuel Science – From Production to Propulsion" organized by FSC was held from June 23 to 25 as an online conference since face-to-face meetings were unfortunately not possible this year due to the current situation of the spread of COVID-19. More than 300 participants from all over the world took the opportunity to discuss the topics of synthesis, production, combustion and socio-economic aspects of fuels based on renewable resources. Besides well-established fuels based on Biomass, the reoccurring field of fuels derived from carbon dioxide as well as from renewable electricity and of course the combination of both, the bio-hybrid fuels, were presented by international speakers. The program also involved a poster session, which had to take place virtually this year. The digital realization worked quite well, and we think about transferring some of the experiences we made to our conference next year. But, of course we hope to welcome you back to Aachen in person again to catch up the networking we missed out so much this year as well as to enjoy the nice weather Aachen is so famous for.
1st Day, Tuesday, June 23
After the welcome and introduction by Stefan Pischinger and RWTH’s rector Ulrich Rüdiger, the first Keynote Session started with a presentation by Sophie Biré from Total about the company’s view on bio- and e-fuels as key aspects for a sustainable mobility. Total presented a smart combination of electrification, biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. The upcoming diversification of the energy sources for mobility is a big chance but also a big challenge for all stakeholders. The second keynote was given by Benedikt Stefánsson, who dialed in from Iceland to present the synthesis of E-Methanol by Carbon Recycling International. CRI built and operates the 1st CO2-to-Methanol plant in industrial scale since 2012 and spreads their technology for "Emissions-to-Liquids" all over the world. During the day many interesting presentations within the field of "System Perspective" followed. In the late afternoon, respectively early morning for the speakers, a session on "Future Energy Systems" was held by our partner university the University of Alberta, Canada. This session was introduced by the Keynote Session by Amit Kumar from the University of Alberta followed by lectures from Bob Koch, Dave Bressler and Dominic Sauvageau. They proposed future pathways for production of regenerative hydrogen from biomass refineries in Alberta. Koch presented the importance of integrated research for a co-optimization of alternative fuels and engines as well as an integrated control system for operating those. Bressler focused on the improvisation of techniques tuning agricultural debris into usable fuels. Sauvageau highlighted the possibility of bioconversion of waste methane into useful biofuels. On that basis they reinforced the urge of support by political policies and the price tag we put on energy to make it attractive. The day ended with the Poster Party, where the participants had the opportunity to discuss the posters in separate video chats with the authors.
2nd Day, Wednesday, June 24
The second morning started with a Keynote session dedicated to pathways to produce renewable fuels. Bert Weckhuysen from Utrecht University showed how to derive hydrogen or methane with renewable electricity with usage of metal catalysts for an electrocatalytically reduction of carbon dioxide. Next to these topics, Keynotes were held by Korneel Rabaey from Ghent University about "Biotechnological Upgrading of C1 Compounds – from Fuel to Food" und and Jan Wery from FeedstocksUnited with the topic "Trioxane Rather Than Other One-Carbon Compounds as Feedstock in Fermentations". After a short break the conference went on in two parallel sessions: "Fuel Synthesis" and "Fuel Combustion". In the afternoon, the lectures on "Fuel Synthesis" and "Fuel Combustion" continued. After that a session regarding "Bio-hybrid Fuels" that builds the aim of the Fuel Science Center was held. The lectures showed insights into the current bio-hybrid fuel candidates, 1,3-dioxolane, 1,3-dioxane and Diethoxymethan, as well as one of the combustion concepts which is investigated at the FSC. This session was concluded by the Keynote of Gregg Beckham about "Performance-Advantaged Bioproducts from Lignin and Carbohydrates" where he explained his studies about deriving useful and high-value materials from biomass and waste plastics. Due to the cancellation of the conference dinner, we hope that everyone enjoyed a delightful beer at home and we look forward to next year’s conference dinner with interesting talks and delicious food.
3rd Day, Thursday, June 25
The last day started with a Keynote Session held by Marcus Aldén from Lund University. His presentation was entitled "Development and Application of Laser Diagnostic Techniques for Studies of Energy Conversion Processes". He presented the possibilities of laser diagnostics for combustion characterization and the importance to face real-world applications. A further Keynote lecture was given by Henry Curran from NUI Galway about "Exploring the foundations of chemical kinetic models: developing a core C0-C5 mechanism". He explained how to derive detailed kinetic mechanism for hydrocarbon fuels.
After this, Stefan Pischinger gave an overview over the highlights from last year and the awards that were won by FSC members. Subsequently, the status presentations of FSC were given. Finally, the poster prizes were awarded. Annika Linzenich, Chair of Communication Science, convinced with her poster on "Environmentally friendly but uncomfortable to use? Benefit and barrier perceptions of alternative fuels" (co-authors: Katrin Arning, Martina Ziefle) and was awarded with the Best Poster Award. The presentation price of this year’s conference was won by Jan Wiesenthal, Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, for his presentation about "Versatile Catalyst Systems and Flexible Reaction Pathways for the adaptable synthesis of bio-hybrid fuels". The whole FSC-Team congratulates the winners!
Time to conclude
Taking a look back, the 8th International Conference doesn’t fall short in comparison with the previous conferences, even though it had to be held as an online conference. The organizers thank everyone who was part of the event and we are already looking forward to our 9th International Conference, taking place from June 22 to 24, 2021 in Aachen. Once again, researchers who are interested in an interdisciplinary perspective on the development of novel biofuels and other alternative fuels are invited to take part. Vital discussions, diverse networking opportunities and a lot of valuable input are the main characteristics of FSC's International Conference, and we will be happy to share all these benefits with you again next year in hope to catch up on the missed networking event and conference dinner.
NETWORK
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