Worldwide CO2 Emission at the Focus of Aachen Research




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The proliferation of wind turbines and solar collectors are heralds of a change:  Germany is turning to sustainable energy sources. But it is impossible to replace nuclear power and fossil fuels from one day to the next. Also, it is a change that cannot just be adopted by other countries. Thus, bridging technologies are needed, and the so-called oxyfuel process, that is a coal combustion process with minimal carbon dioxide emission, might be a suitable candidate for such a technology. China and India are already pinning their hope on this process – it is particularly these countries that need to reduce their gigantic output of CO2 emissions in order not to fuel global warming.


RWTH Aachen is seeking solutions to the above named energy and environmental challenges: In the newly established Collaborative Research Center “Oxy-Flame – Development of Methods and Models to Describe the Reaction of Solid Fuels in an Oxy-Fuel Atmosphere,” a team of high-profile researchers will thoroughly investigate the oxy-flame combustion process.

In collaboration with experts from TU Darmstadt and Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the RWTH researchers will conduct 17 sub-projects in the different aspects of the oxy-flame combustion process. Here, instead of using air, the coal or biomass is burned using a mixture of pure oxygen and flue gas. The emissions produced in this process largely consist of water and carbon dioxide, and the latter can be easily sequestered and used e.g. for oil recovery technologies. With the help of this process, billions of tons of carbon dioxide could be prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere.