Competence Area 1 (CA-1)
Molecular Transformations and Interactions
This competence area aims to provide the molecular basis for a rational fuel design process to cope with a diversified and variable energy and resource supply. Its mission is to explore, control, and master the structural molecular diversity and the fundamental chemical principles for both the synthesis and combustion of bio-hybrid fuels in adaptive processes.
The structure of CA-1 is driven by the desire to unravel the guiding molecular principles in synthesis and combustion not only individually but also in their direct interrelation. Aiming for the "ideal" bio-hybrid fuel, both aspects are intrinsically tied to each other. The molecular structures of the fuel components ultimately define the performance along the whole life cycle, ranging from the intermittent renewable energy supply and nature of available carbon resources, through the efficiency of the production process, to the dynamics and energy output during combustion, and finally the formation of potentially harmful emissions for individual fuel components and blends.
To provide the basis for the integrated fuel design, major scientific challenges at the time and length scales of molecular structures and dynamics have to be tackled. Highly complex reaction sequences forming and breaking C-H, C-O, and C-C bonds have to be designed, analyzed, and controlled for novel synthetics pathways as well as for fuel combustion including pollutant formation (CA-1-1 Chemical Transformations). Mastering the corresponding energetic constraints and kinetic barriers is driven by a comprehensive understanding of the involved phenomena and interactions on the molecular level (CA-1-2 Molecular Interactions).