From Wind and Solar Energy to Chemical Energy Storage: Understanding and Engineering Catalysis under Dynamic Conditions

WE-Heraeus-Seminar

09 Jan - 13 Jan 2022

Where:

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, KIT, Karlsruhe • Prof. Dr. Karsten Reuter, Fritz-Haber-Institut, Berlin • Prof. Dr. Roger Gläser, Universität Leipzig

The German Energy Transition (“Energiewende”) aims at decreasing net emissions of CO2 by 95 % and increase the renewable energy fraction to 60 % by 2050. Similar targets are aimed at in other European countries and around the globe. An important aspect in the future is storage in chemicals and the production of fuels and chemicals based on renewable sources, particular based on wind turbines and photovoltaic solar power. The idea is to transform low-energy molecules such as water and CO2 into high-energy reactive molecules: hydrogen, hydrocarbons, oxygenates and fuels. In contrast to conventional resources, wind and solar power fluctuates on time scales of minutes to days – depending on season, time of day and weather. Processes in focus are water electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen, as well as conversion of CO2 into hydrocarbons and oxygenates including methane, methanol and CO. Primarily, these processes were developed and well-studied for steady-state applications. In order to understand and optimize them under fluctuating conditions, new catalyst concepts must be developed – a very challenging topic in catalysis.

Orchestrating the complex interplay between imposed dynamic operation conditions and a concomitant or intrinsic structural evolution of the working catalysts will require an unprecedented mechanistic understanding at the atomic scale. Besides traditional catalyst preparation and testing, novel hierarchical catalyst design, advanced characterization tools as well as detailed modeling and simulation approaches will become ever more important to this end. Research in this area thus embraces predictive - quality first - principles calculations, multiscale modeling, data science and analytics, operando spectroscopies and in situ microscopies, as well as kinetic measurements, materials and reactor design. This requires a strong interaction of scientists from physics, theory, chemistry and engineering.

Bringing scientists from these various disciplines together, this WE-Heraeus Seminar aims at presenting the current state of research and advances towards such dynamic operation of catalytic energy storage systems, with significant focus on the fundamental methods that drive this research.

This WE-Heraeus Seminar aims at presenting the current state of research and advances towards such dynamic operation of catalytic energy storage systems, with significant focus on the fundamental methods that drive this research.


The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.