Conference Report 2019
The 7th International Conference on “Fuel Science – From Production to Propulsion” organized by the Cluster of Excellence The Fuel Science Center (FSC) was held from May 13th to 15th in Aachen, Germany.
More than 200 scientists took the opportunity to discuss the synthesis, production, combustion and socio-economic aspect of modern biofuels and, as always, alternative fuels derived from carbon dioxide as well as from renewable electricity. Internationally renowned experts as well as FSC members presented their findings and current research activities. The program also involved a poster session, which included a poster award for the most convincing posters. As in previous years, a framework program providing the chance of networking and interdisciplinary exchange and discussions completed the conference.
Monday, 13.05.2019, morning
After the welcome and introduction by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Pischinger, the first Keynote Session started with a presentation by Dr.- Ing. Ulrich Kramer from FORD-Werke GmbH about the key findings of the FVV Fuels Study 2018 "Options for the Defossilization of the Road Transport Sector in Germany". The study uses a 100 % scenario approach as an effective tool for a technology comparison. The results show that mobility in 2050 can be completely sustainable, if all solutions - battery electric vehicles, fuel cells and fuels from renewable resources – are combined. Additionally, the study reveals the major hurdles: investment costs and legislative conditions. Lectures on "System Perspective & Sustainable Cross-sectorial Value Chains" followed.
Monday, 13.05.2019, afternoon
After lunch, lectures on "System Perspective & Sustainable Cross-sectorial Value Chains" continued, followed by a session on "Social Sciences for a Sustainable Mobility". This was concluded by the second Keynote Session titled "Decarbonisation and Its Discontents: A Critical Justice Perspective on Four Low-carbon Transitions" held by Prof. Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool from Aarhus University of Sussex. Pointing out the importance of fairness, justice and ethics especially within energy studies his keynote added a completely new perspective to our conference. On the basis of four exemplary studies on different transitions on the European energy market he showed the complex interrelations of energy justice. The day ended with the Poster Party, where the participants had the opportunity to discuss the posters.
Tuesday, 14.05.2019, morning
The second morning started with a session dedicated to FSC’s partner initiative from the US: Co-Optima. In four successive lectures, Dr. Robert Wagner, Jim Szybist, Bob McCormick and Jennifer Dunn presented the results of their holistic research on fuel and engine technologies.
After a short break the conference went on in two parallel sessions: "Fuel Synthesis" and "Fuel Combustion".
Tuesday, 14.05.2019, afternoon
In the afternoon, the lectures on "Fuel Synthesis" and "Fuel Combustion" continued. After that, the fourth Keynote Session was held by Prof. Dr. Marc Koper from Leiden University. His presentation "Electrocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide: Catalysts and Mechanisms" provided deep insights from the importance of charged intermediates, the different pathways to CO and HCOOH up to electrolyte and mass transport effects. The day ended with the conference dinner over the rooftops of the city. This year’s highlight at the conference dinner was a caricaturist who brought out the individual characteristics of the participants. The professors were not spared either. Of course, the offer was welcomed by numerous conference participants. Take a closer look. Maybe you will also find yourself in the picture.
Wednesday, 15.05.2019, morning
The last day started with a Keynote Session held by Prof. Dr. Gonzalo Guillén Gosálbez from ETH Zürich. His presentation was entitled "Towards a More Sustainable Industry Using Process Systems Engineering". He showed how process systems engineering can be applied to solve a wide variety of sustainability problems. After this, Prof. Stefan Pischinger gave an overview on 10 years of the Cluster of Excellence Tailor-made Fuels from Biomass and it’s transition to the Fuel Science Center. Subsequently, the first status presentations of FSC were given.
Finally, of course, the poster prizes were awarded. Andrea König, Process Systems Engineering at Aachener Verfahrenstechnik, stood out with her poster on "Model-Based Formulation of Biofuel/Gasoline Blends by Simultaneous Product and Reaction Pathway Design" (co-authors: Maximilian Siska, Jörn Viell, Alexander Mitsos and Manuel Dahmen) and was awarded the Best Poster Award. The title of Jan Wiesenthal’s, Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, poster was "Catalytic Synthesis of Cyclic Acetals Utilizing Biomass Derived Diols and Formic Acid" (co-authors: Kassem Beydoun, Jürgen Klankermayer) and has won the Audience Award.
Time to conclude
Taking a look back, the 7th International Conference bore the comparison with the previous conferences, which set a high standard. The organizers thank everyone who was part of the event and we are already looking forward to our 8th International Conference, taking place from June 23rd to 25th 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.