Energy Conversion Systems
The research area Energy Conversion Systems comprises three projects which are all aiming at a better understanding of how to make use of renewable energy for chemicals production and transportation. It is our mission to provide information on how to enable the shift towards a more sustainable production of a wide variety of chemicals.
In the Project "DynElectro" we investigate the dynamics of water electrolysis processes and try to elucidate the underlying reaction, transport and degradation processes at different time and length scales, by coupling experimental and modeling approaches. Thereby, we have strong interactions with the Max Planck ResearchNetwork MaxNet Energy in which we collaborate with national and international top experts in catalysis (Prof. Schlögl, MPI CEC; Prof. Hutchings, U Cardiff).
In the second Project “R2Chem” we investigate process systems converting hydrogen and carbon dioxide into chemicals and energy carriers (sustainable fuels). Our particular contributions to this exciting area are the system-wide analysis of many alternative process routes by advanced optimization techniques, the incorporation of model-based dynamic process analysis and optimization, and conceptual process design approaches based on accurate thermodynamic models for pure substances and mixtures.
Moreover, in the framework of our third energy Project "DynFC", we started embedding microkinetic reaction networks into our multiscale design methodology, exemplified for the computer aided design of a natural gas fed PEM fuel cell system (in collaboration with Prof. Maestri, Politechnico di Milano). Currently we are trying to understand the role of the CO content in the feed and the water distribution on the dynamic behavior of PEM fuel cells using spatially resolved measuring techniques (together with the network GECKO: GErman-Canadian co-operation on Kinetics and mass transport Optimization in PEM fuel cells; Canada: CaRPE-FC, Germany: FhG-ISE, FhG-ICT, U Freiburg, ZSW).