C1 Building Blocks for Future Industry – this was the title of the 31st conference of the Petrochemical Division of the DGMK from 11 to 13 October. This year’s venue was the Dresden Haus der Kirche within the walls of the baroque Dreikönigskirche, built between 1732 and 1739, whose premises provided a thoroughly appropriate setting for the event.
Around 80 experts from science and industry met here for an intensive exchange on the topics of hydroformylation, methanol synthesis, synthesis gas catalysis and Fischer-Tropsch processes, which dominated the programme put together by the Petrochemical Division of DGMK to mark the 100th anniversary of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.
Opened by DGMK Managing Director Dr. Gesa Netzeband and Prof. Dieter Vogt, Chair of Technical Chemistry at the TU Dortmund University and Chairman of the Petrochemistry Division of the DGMK, the authors discussed, among other things, the electrical generation of process heat, alternative designs of reactors, the influence of light as an additional factor in catalysis, the recycling of catalysts in the production process or new combinations of different catalytic processes in the following technical lectures and keynotes.
Under the sign of the upcoming transformation processes, there were also questions such as the possible use of CO2 in the Fischer-Tropsch process, the reduction of energy input or, in general, the minimisation of CO2 emissions in production as well as the use of biomass as a raw material.
The presentations by Prof. Roland Dittmeyer and Dominik Heß on the separation of carbon dioxide from ambient air and its further use (Direct Air Cleaning – DAC) also attracted a lot of attention.
Despite all the concentration on process issues and possible new approaches, the keynote speech by Prof. Robert Franke, holder of the Chair of Theoretical Chemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum and also head of the Evonik Performance Materials research group, in which the impact of largely extremely volatile framework conditions such as energy or raw material costs on the economic result was highlighted, helped to keep the focus on the essentials.
Meanwhile, an idiosyncratic contrast to the presented slides with chemical formulae and diagrams of process chains was the 18 x 7 metre mural painting “Reconciliation” by Werner Juza in the conference or banqueting hall of the building destroyed in the Dresden bomb night and partly rebuilt as a conference centre in the 1980s.
The formal highlight of the event on Thursday was the awarding of the Carl Zerbe Prize by Dr Gesa Netzeband and Prof
Dieter Vogt. This year’s prize winner is Prof. Moritz Wolf from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), who expressed his gratitude with a lecture on the water-induced degradation of cobalt-based Fischer-Tropsch Catalysis.
An extensive poster session on the same day later provided extensively space for the discussion of numerous scientific approaches and practical issues of application technology in organic chemistry. Finally, the conference dinner on Thursday evening offered the best opportunity for networking and deepening discussions that had already been initiated.
The DGMK would like to thank all authors, members and friends of the DGMK for their insights into the world of petrochemistry, which contributed to the success of the event.