Ekkehard Schwab

Raw material changes in the chemical industry

online lecture by Ekkehard Schwab on March 21, 2023, 3 p.m

Moderator: Klaus-Peter Jäckel

The German chemical and pharmaceutical industry currently has a share of around 4.2% in the world market (VCI). Their carbon-containing products are mainly made from the energy sources oil (72%) and gas (14%). After all, 13% of the products are based on renewable raw materials. At less than 2%, coal is practically irrelevant. In total, the German chemical industry uses around 20 million tons of organic raw materials. The chemical industry is an energy-intensive industry, the main sources of energy being gas and electricity.

The raw materials of the chemical industry have been and are constantly being adapted. At the beginning of the 19th century, wood was the raw material. Later, coal changed the entire industry and growth accelerated. After 1945, oil became the dominant global commodity. However, coal and especially gas in the USA are (again) gaining in importance in China. The lecture explains the criteria used to select the raw material base at different locations. Technical processes for using all raw materials are known.

On a global scale, the chemical industry is the third largest industrial emitter of CO2 after steel and cement with a share of 8%. The key to reducing this share will be the availability of "green" electricity and hydrogen without an atmospheric CO2 backpack. Increasing the amount of carbon used from renewable raw materials is reaching ecological limits.

Energy our elixir of life - where it comes from, where it goes

online lecture 3pm

Moderation: Klaus-Dieter Jany

No life without energy. For millennia, renewable raw materials, hydropower and wind energy have been the only sources of energy for human development. However, the amount of energy available was always limited, despite its increasingly efficient use. This changed dramatically after James Watt's steam engine made it possible to exploit seemingly unlimited coal reserves. Technologies for oil and natural gas production were added later. The excessive use of these Literature has meanwhile changed the composition of the earth's atmosphere in such a way that serious climatic changes must be expected globally. The lecture shows which dimensions have to be mastered in the global conversion of the fossil energy system to a sustainable one again.


Industrial heterogeneous catalysis

online lecture by Ekkehard Schwab on February 15, 2022, 3 p.m.

Moderation: Klaus-Dieter Jany

Heterogeneous catalysts are the backbone of modern petrochemicals. Its successful development requires the close cooperation of a large number of technical and scientific disciplines: inorganic solid-state chemistry, surface science, chemical reaction engineering and, last but not least, solid process engineering for reproducible production on an industrial scale. The aim of every development is a catalyst that leads selectively from the feedstock to the desired product over a period of years, although this can be achieved with very different reactor types. The latter in turn determine the external shape of the catalytic converter. In the course of more than a century of development, a gradual transition from the purely empirical to the increasingly rational catalyst design can be observed. But even today, the complex multi-scale phenomenon of heterogeneous catalysis can only be fully theoretically described for a few simple model reactions.

Ekkehard Schwab

Access to the lecture

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last modified: 20.06.2024 16:29 H from Translator