The theme of the symposium ‘Sustainability in Chemical Industry – Challenges and Solutions’ is extremely timely and very important. The chemical and process industries are on the verge of a major revolution to become truly more sustainable in a circular economy, on the one hand driven by the urgent necessity to change to renewable feedstocks and materials, reduce emissions/waste and reduce energy consumption, as well as by new opportunities, such as CO2 reutilization and electrification of chemical processes. This will be an exciting time for chemical process engineers with a lot of opportunities for process integration and intensification!

 

Sustainability and (Preventing) climate change are Societal Challenges of the first kind. Forty-six years after The Club of Rome (1972) expressed its concerns, the topic has reached its tipping point in the political arena. The Paris Agreement of 2015, signed by 195 UN FCCC members, has set clear targets for maximum temperature rise in 2050. Recently, a new Dutch “Climate Law” was announced, prescribing 80 to 95 % CO2 emissions in the Netherlands in 2050. Now, also for the chemical sector the main question is: how will this sustainability target be realized? Recently, the VNCI has issued its “Chemistry-for-Climate” route map describing main innovation routes for reducing chimney emissions and end-of-life emissions. This VNCI report makes clear that many technical and chemistry related challenges still exist, next to financial issues that of course also play an important role.

In the upcoming Japie-Octave symposium at the TU/e, a number of those challenges and their solutions will be discussed. Some well recognized speakers from companies and academia will contribute. The chemical and process industries are on the verge of a major revolution to become truly more sustainable in a circular economy, on the one hand driven by the urgent necessity to change to renewable feedstocks and materials, reduce emissions/waste and reduce energy consumption, on the other hand driven by the urge to grasp new opportunities, such as CO2 reutilization and electrification of chemical processes.

Sustainability is a state of mind, and not just a physical state.  We need to alter the perception of sustainability from one of it being a current fad into one we all live by every day.

Sustainability and (Preventing) climate change are Societal Challenges of the first kind. Fourty six years after The Club of Rome (1972) expressed its concerns, the topic has reached its tipping point in the political arena. The Paris Agreement of 2015, signed by 195 UN FCCC members, has set clear targets for maximum temperature rise in 2050. Recently, a new Dutch “Climate Law” was announced, prescribing 80-95% CO2 emissions in the Netherlands in 2050. Now, (also) for the chemical sector the main question is: how will this sustainability target be realized? Recently, the VNCI has issued its “Chemistry-for-Climate” routekaart describing main innovation routes for reducing chimney emissions and end-of-life emissions. From the VNCI report it’s clear that, next to financial issues, many technical and chemistry related challenges still exist. In the Japie symposium at the TU/e, a number of those challenges and their solutions will be discussed. Some well recognized speakers from companies and academia will contribute. Join the debate!

“From all the Grand Societal Challenges we know, ensuring a sustainable future for our next generations might be the most important one. I firmly believe that green technologies play an important role in this transition, and that Chemical Industry will completely transform themselves from an area traditionally associated with environmental pollution, to the crucial player in achieving a circular society. As Rector Magnificus of the Eindhoven University of Technology, I am proud to say that the focus on sustainable development is an integral part of our research programs. The theme of this Japie- Octave Symposium is therefore timely and very well chosen.”