Enhanced Sustainability Through Biotechnology and Chemistry
Since 2010, chemists, biologists, and biotechnologists from Osaka University in Japan and RWTH Aachen have been collaborating in the "SeleCa" Graduate Research Training Group. The group receives funding from both the German Research Foundation, DFG, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, JSPS.
Earlier this month, the contributing researchers met at a symposium in Japan, titled “Biotechnology and Chemistry for Green Growth,” where they discussed current research on the development of efficient molecular catalysts. Experts from the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore illustrated the role of metal compounds in catalyst design.
The participants were welcomed by a delegation from the German Research Foundation, led by Secretary-General Dorothee Dzwonnek. The economic attaché of the German Consulate General in Osaka-Kobe, Johannes Schweizer; JSPS Director Dr. Mariko Kobayashi; and the Executive Vice President of Global Engagement at Osaka University, Yamanaka Shinsuke, all gave welcome addresses.
Subsequently, the symposium participants undertook a site visit to a plant of Kaneka Corporation, which operates biotechnological fermentation facilities and more traditional systems using chemical processes, such as chloralkali electrolysis.
Aims of the Research Training Group
Rapidly changing global conditions and the imminent depletion of fossil feedstock petroleum require substantially improved catalysts for selective transformation to ensure sustainable production of chemicals in the future.
The International Research Training Group Selectivity in Chemo- and Biocatalysis, SeleCa for short, aims at understanding efficient and selective catalytic processes on a molecular level.
The next symposium of the research training group is scheduled to take place in September 2017 in Aachen.