In November 2022, negotiators will gather in Sharm El-Sheikh to progress the state of play on the Paris Agreement – our global response to the climate crisis. In the lead up to this meeting, IChemE Fellow Mary Stewart, an observer to the processes of the UNFCCC, the global body with oversight of the Paris Agreement, outlines the main themes of the conference.Continue reading COP27: From Ambition to Implementation
CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Built Environment & Transport
Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.
IChemE member Dr Nasrin Aghamohammadi, who was part of the editorial steering committee member for ChemEng Evolution and chaired the Built Environment and Transport theme, picks out her choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Built Environment & Transport
CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Sustainability & Environment
Every month throughout our centenary year, we will be asking an IChemE member to write a blog about each of the centenary themes. The themes have been selected to highlight and celebrate the enormous contribution that chemical engineering has made to society over the last century.
IChemE member Dr Nikolay Cherkasov, who was part of the editorial panel looking at sustainability & environment, picks out his choices of elements to celebrate, communicate and inspire.Continue reading CENTENARY BLOG: Spotlight on Sustainability & Environment
GUEST BLOG: Water and climate change #COP26
In this blog, IChemE Fellow Martin Currie talks about how a systems approach and collaboration beyond the water treatment community has taken the water climate discussion to COP26.Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Water and climate change #COP26
GUEST BLOG: From COP21 to COP26
In December 2015, IChemE Fellow Stefaan Simons attended COP21 in Paris. Six years later he is in Glasgow for COP26 and shares his experiences of attending the pivotal climate change conference, explaining the progress IChemE has made with respect to climate change during that time.Continue reading GUEST BLOG: From COP21 to COP26
Sharing knowledge on sustainability, safety and digitalisation
Following the identification of the Learned Society’s priority topics earlier in the year, IChemE has launched a new website area to focus on Responsible Production, Major Hazards Management and Digitalisation.
We caught up with Alexandra Meldrum to find out more.Continue reading Sharing knowledge on sustainability, safety and digitalisation
GUEST BLOG: Climate Action Plans
As we develop plans to promote the contributions of IChemE and chemical engineering to help mitigate climate change on a worldwide stage, in this blog Claire MacLeod, of IChemE’s Learned Society Committee Responsible Production Working Group, urges members to get involved.Continue reading GUEST BLOG: Climate Action Plans
Malaysia Award winners creating sustainable solutions for our Earth – #ichemeawards #EarthDay
Across the globe today, scores of people will be marking Earth Day (22 April) under this year’s theme, Restore our Earth.
While there is so much more to be done to help tackle climate change and prevent further environmental disasters, it’s also important to recognise the achievements of those who are working on extremely important regeneration and restoration initiatives, as well as creating sustainable processes and educational programmes to enhance the life of our planet and all living things upon it.
So, we caught up with three of our winners from the IChemE Malaysia Awards 2020 to learn more about how their award-winning projects are helping to do this.Continue reading Malaysia Award winners creating sustainable solutions for our Earth – #ichemeawards #EarthDay
Renew, Sustain, Disrupt and Advance – discussing the challenges faced by chemical engineers. #Chemeca
Chemical engineers create innovative technologies and solutions, adapt to disruption, and make processes more efficient and sustainable to benefit society.
But when the world is faced by unexpected challenges such as COVID-19, how do we create, maintain and improve upon safe, sustainable and cost effective solutions?
Despite the disruption of the pandemic, the organising committee for our Chemeca conference – made up of volunteer members and hosted by IChemE, Engineers Australia, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute and Engineering New Zealand – were keen to ensure sharing knowledge on these challenges still took place.
So our physical conference has been reshaped into a series of one-hour to 90 minute webinar sessions across four weeks and renamed Bite-Sized Chemeca. Under the theme ‘renew, sustain, disrupt and advance’, our expert engineer plenary speakers and panellists will discuss and present upon the hot topics affecting both industry and academia, including on COVID-19, industry 4.0, circular economy and energy efficiency.
Ahead of the event in two weeks’ time (29 September), we caught up with Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chief Executive of Engineers Australia, and our Deputy President, Jane Cutler who will be delivering plenary sessions in week one and two, respectively. Read their thoughts on how engineers might need to adapt to address these challenges and gain an insight into their plenaries below.Continue reading Renew, Sustain, Disrupt and Advance – discussing the challenges faced by chemical engineers. #Chemeca
Climate Change, Hazards and Digitalisation
In this blog, Sam Wilkinson, committee member and communications lead on our Learned Society Committee, discusses IChemE’s ongoing learned society activity. Continue reading Climate Change, Hazards and Digitalisation
From waste wood to useful goods – IChemE Young Researcher Award winner 2019
An Imperial College London PhD student turned co-founder of sustainable solutions company Chrysalix Technologies, chemical engineer Florence Gschwend is passionate about creating a clean future for all.
It’s her company’s initiative the BioFlex Process – a process that turns thousands of tonnes of unused biomass material, including agricultural residues, energy crops and waste construction wood, into new raw material – that won her the Young Researcher Award at the IChemE Global Awards 2019.
To mark World Environment Day today (5 June), we’re sharing Florence’s story. In this video Florence explains more about how she and her colleagues are scaling up this sustainable technology and why she was delighted to be crowned the category winner at the IChemE Global Awards.
Do you know a young researcher who is using their technical knowledge to help address important economic, environmental or social issues?
Why not nominate them for the Young Researcher Award. Nominations are open now. The deadline for entries has been extended until 10 July 2020.
Find out more about this category and enter online at: www.icheme.org/globalawards
This video was produced by CMA Video
Addressing the Grand Challenges
Our mission, as set out in Strategy 2024, is to be a vibrant learned society that addresses the grand challenges.
IChemE’s principal technical committee, the Learned Society Committee (LSC), has been tasked with engaging IChemE’s members around delivering this.
LSC has prioritised focussing its initial work on responsible production, major hazard identification and management, and digitalisation. Below are the initial interpretations of these priorities.
Household waste to low-carbon gas – IChemE Sustainability, Energy and Outstanding Award Winners 2018
The big winners at the IChemE Global Awards 2018 were a UK consortium consisting of Advanced Plasma Power, University College London, Cadent Gas and Progressive Energy.
The team took home three awards in the Sustainability, Energy and Outstanding Achievement categories, for their project, Converting Waste to BioSNG.
Together, they developed an innovative and unique gasification and catalytic process to turn household waste into a clean, green and renewable energy called Bio Synthetic Natural Gas (BioSNG). It’s a low-carbon gas that the team feel is a great contribution to decarbonise the energy sector and heat homes across the UK for years to come.
Find out more about the project, and the team’s reaction to winning three awards, in this video:
If you have a cutting-edge project that you think is worthy of an IChemE Global Award in any of these categories, make sure to enter by the end of today (12 July 2019) for this year’s award ceremony.
Today is the last chance to enter for the IChemE Global Awards 2019. Submit your entry online at: www.icheme.org/awards
This video was produced by CMA Video.
Green chemistry offers solution to plastic and polyester recycling – IChemE Business Start-up Award Winner 2018
Winner of the IChemE Global Awards 2018 in the Business Start-up category was Green Lizards Technologies, for their project, GLT’s Journey from Creation to Commercialisation.
As a university spin-out company with expertise in the chemical, energy and recycling industries, Green Lizards Technologies are paving the way with their innovative idea of combining green chemistry and chemical engineering, to find a practical solution and offer plastic recycling and polyester recycling in a safe and efficient manner.
In this video, find out more from the team on their mission to create a unique space in clean energy and sustainable technology:
Do you have a new and successful business in the chemical, biochemical or process industry? If so, why not submit it for an IChemE Global Award 2019?
Entries are open until 12 July 2019. Visit: www.icheme.org/awards.
This video was produced by CMA Video.
From waste to renewable biofuels – IChemE Biotechnology Award Winner 2018
Enerkem, Canada walked away with the IChemE Global Awards 2018 in the Biotechnology category for their project From Waste to Biofuels: Enerkem’s Disruptive Biotechnology.
Being at the forefront of waste management, Enerkem’s state-of-the-art technology enables them to take non-recyclable and non-compostable municipal solid waste converting this into renewable energy. This offers environmental benefits such as preventing methane release from landfills, but also reducing CO2 emissions by displacing sources of ethanol and methanol.
In this video, Alex Miles, Enerkem’s Director, Commercial Development (Europe), explains more about the company’s work on this technology over the past 18 years and how it is being rolled out globally:
The project was also featured as one of a series of energy and resource efficiency case studies by the IChemE Energy Centre. Read more on Enerkem’s project in this case study.
Do you have an exciting chemical engineering project in biotechnology? Why not enter the IChemE Global Awards 2019.
Entries are now open until 12 July. Visit: http://www.icheme.org/awards.
This video was produced by CMA Video
World Water Day – ‘Leave no one behind’
The theme this year for World Water Day is ‘Leave no one behind’, working to the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. Playing a key role in this mission are chemical engineers from both academia and industry; who are working on water projects around the world.
In today’s blog we take a trip down memory lane, and reflect on some great examples of members who have used their chemical engineering skills to help people in developing countries access clean water.
IChemE X ExxonMobil – sharing the passion for chemical engineering
This week we showcased six videos as part of our latest #ChemEngProfiles series, which were recorded last year with ExxonMobil UK. ExxonMobil are one of the top employers of chemical engineers, and one of the biggest oil and gas corporations in the world. The company has 19 refineries worldwide, one of which is based in Fawley, Hampshire, UK. They are also one of our Gold Corporate Partners.
In this brand new series, five of ExxonMobil’s chemical engineers,tell us what they love about their job, why working towards or achieving chartered status is important to them, and how the company is investing in the next generation of chemical engineers.
Continue reading IChemE X ExxonMobil – sharing the passion for chemical engineering
#EarthDay2018: Energy and resource efficiency is key to reducing environmental waste
Reaching a consensus on how to reduce the environmental impact of human activity is challenging, but the desire to bring about change is gathering momentum across the world, and especially in the chemical engineering community.
Today, along with many others across the globe, we’re celebrating Earth Day. The Earth Day Network leads this campaign on 22 April each year with their mission to diversify, educate and activate a worldwide environmental movement.
This year’s theme is to end plastic pollution. Poor consideration of resources through their entire lifecycle not only results in pollution (such as plastics in our rivers and oceans), but also has a wider impact on our planet. Continue reading #EarthDay2018: Energy and resource efficiency is key to reducing environmental waste
Spotlight on: Going Beyond Energy Neutrality in the North West #ichemeawards
The world is becoming more focused on sustainability. For chemical engineers working in the water industry, sewage sludge is rapidly becoming a valuable resource that can be reused for a variety of purposes.
In the North West of England, the Davyhulme Treatment Works is one of the biggest wastewater treatment plants in the UK. It operates 24 hours a day, treating more than 30,000 litres of water a second. It also operates an integrated energy generation centre.
In 2015 the energy generation centre was turning 91,000 tonnes of sludge into 36 million Nm3 of biogas. The biogas generated 73,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough to run the entire works.
However, an opportunity arose to make the process more efficient. There was also a need to integrate a ‘biogas to grid’ solution – which would export excess energy to National Grid. This is where a collaborative team of chemical engineers were needed.
Cue United Utilities, Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke – a collaborative team that had twelve months to take energy generation at Davyhulme to the next level. Working together, they delivered a solution that uses water scrubbing at medium to high pressures to process biogas and deliver a high grade biomethane product for supply to National Grid.
The design has delivered a carbon emissions reduction of 7,400 tonnes of CO2 per year, as well as financial benefits that will keep energy costs low for customers. It also has a strong focus on operational flexibility – to manage demand of electricity, heat and green gas – with an option to produce green fuel in the future for transport.
A great deal has been achieved by the team, particularly in the timescale. According to United Utilities Pat Horne: “On 11 March we had to commission this plant within two weeks. From a chemical engineering point of view, we turned it on, it worked – from start to finish within 24 hours. To see something come from paper to reality in one day was fantastic.”
There was a triumphant whoop from the floor when we announced this project had won the Energy Award at the IChemE Global Awards in November 2017. We just managed to get them all on stage, as they were presented with the trophy by Lee Greenlees, Design Manager at Rolls-Royce, who sponsored the Energy Award.
Watch our interview with some of the team, and find out more about the works:
It’s also been great to see United Utilities engaging with the local community around this project. They have invested £48,000 in community parks, centres, and education, and visited several schools around the Davyhulme plant to get them excited about engineering.
Join us tomorrow when the spotlight is on that favourite British bedtime drink – Horlicks!
Are you feeling inspired to apply for the IChemE Global Awards 2018? Whether you would like to enter your own project, sponsor a category, or just attend to support your fellow professionals – register your interest here.
The IChemE Global Awards 2017 were held in Birmingham, UK on Thursday 2 November, held in partnership with Johnson Matthey and Wood.
Was your commute today #poweredbycoffee?
A brilliant piece of news hit our desks this morning, and chemical engineering is at it’s heart. London-based start-up Bio-Bean have teamed up with Costa and Shell, to power London buses with bio-fuel derived from coffee waste.
Bio-Bean has a number of products in it’s growing portfolio, but it is it’s B20 biodiesel that has been hitting headlines, and powering London buses from today.
IChemE Energy Centre responds to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement
This press release was published on the IChemE Media Centre.
Continue reading IChemE Energy Centre responds to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement
Guest Blog: Rhamnolipids promise a renewable revolution
Environmental impact is something that has become increasingly important for organisations and consumers in recent years. It is a topic discussed on a global scale by world leaders, and an issue of contention for many.
For some chemical engineers it has provided an opportunity for them to use their knowledge of chemical processes to create environmentally-friendly alternatives to the products we rely on daily.
In today’s blog Dr Dan Derr gives an insight into biosurfactants – which he hopes will spark a ‘renewable revolution’ in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.
Dr Daniel Derr
Project Leader, Internal Research & Development, Logos Technologies
Dan gained his PhD from Colorado State University, and went on to study bio-based jet fuels and photocatalysis at General Electric’s Global Research.
Following this, he led an integrated BioRefinery effort called the Corn to Cellulosic Migration (CCM), focusing on the migration of billions of dollars of capital deployed in today’s corn ethanol industry toward cost-effective production of greener ethanol from corn stover, switchgrass and woodchips.
Now working for Logos Technologies, Derr is currently focused on NatSurFact® – a rhamnolipid-based line of biosurfactants.
Continue reading Guest Blog: Rhamnolipids promise a renewable revolution
Guest Blog: What happens to the batteries when cars die?
Not all chemical engineers end up on an oil rig. It’s a profession that can pull you in various directions, to various places and companies, tackling various problems. No chemical engineer is the same – that’s the beauty of it.
In a relatively short time Amrit Chandan has established himself as a serious entrepreneur. His company, Aceleron, uses fundamental chemical engineering principles to tackle very real challenges in our society. In today’s blog post Amrit tells us, in his own words, about his chemical engineering journey and why Aceleron, a business under 18 months old, has been turning heads.
Name: Dr. Amrit Chandan
PhD in Chemical Engineering (Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and their Applications)
BSc (Hons) Chemistry Class I
Co-Founder and Business Development, Aceleron
Amrit is an experienced engineer specialising in electrochemical technologies, specifically fuel cell technology. He co-founded battery reuse company, Aceleron in 2015. Aceleron seeks to provide low cost energy storage to developing regions.
Previously, he worked as a Technical Specialist in low carbon vehicles at Cenex, providing expertise and specialist knowledge for Cenex’ programmes and demonstrator trials.
Amrit has published 10 academic papers on a range of topics from marketing to fuel cell technology development, and was named Business Quarterly Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. Most recently, Amrit was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Class of 2017.
Continue reading Guest Blog: What happens to the batteries when cars die?
COP22: What next? – Q&A from the IChemE Energy Centre’s latest discussion on climate change
Last week (Thursday 12 January), the IChemE Energy Centre welcomed participants both online and in person to discuss the outcomes of ‘COP22 – what next?’.
Hosted by Chair of the IChemE Energy Centre, Professor Stefaan Simons, at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), UK, participants first heard from Board members Dr Rachael Hall, Model Site Lead – Severn Trent Innovation Team, and Mark Apsey, Technical Services Director – Ameresco Limited, about their experience at COP22 in Marrakech.
This was followed by Dr Alison Cooke, Founder and Consultant – Cooke Associates, who gave a brief overview of what it’s like to work with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) as a mechanical engineer.
The audience was then invited for a discussion on on the outcomes of COP22 and the next steps we must take to implement the Paris Agreement.
Continue reading COP22: What next? – Q&A from the IChemE Energy Centre’s latest discussion on climate change
Celebrating chemical engineering achievement in sustainability #ichemeawards
It’s time for another round -up of our IChemE Global Awards 2016 winners, and this time we’re focusing on sustainability.
In our modern world projects that deliver a sustainability benefit are usually successful. In fact, all our winners this year have demonstrated some kind of sustainable element in their work. Whether it’s taking on large projects, developing products for poor communities, or innovating to change lives.
But these winners have put sustainability at the heart of what they do. Pushing the limits to find the most environmentally-friendly way of doing things, some of them are also very young companies – and ones to watch in the future.
So please take a look at the following three winners videos, and as always thanks to Morgan Sindall for helping us to produce them.
Continue reading Celebrating chemical engineering achievement in sustainability #ichemeawards
Tackling big chemical engineering projects #ichemeawards
We are now midway through our round up of this year’s IChemE Global Awards 2016 winners. Produced in association with Morgan Sindall, we have got a special interview video for every single winner.
So far we have seen some life-changing products that will make a difference all over the world, as well as chemical engineering projects designed to benefit resource-poor communities in developing countries.
Today we go to the big projects in chemical engineering that require strategy, innovation and teamwork. These winners are demonstrating great chemical engineering in its purest form. All of the projects below have demonstrated a key chemical engineering skill, systems thinking, and a drive for achieving the best results.
Take a look at their work below and don’t forget to leave a comment.
Continue reading Tackling big chemical engineering projects #ichemeawards
Chemical engineering creates products that are changing lives #ichemeawards
Last month the IChemE Global Awards 2016 were held in Manchester, UK, in one of the biggest celebrations of chemical engineering achievement worldwide. Our judges had a difficult task narrowing down 16 winners from 120 amazing finalists.
The ceremony was held at the Principal Hotel and welcomed over 400 guests from around the world to recognise and celebrate chemical engineering success stories.
For many, success doesn’t end after collecting a trophy, but marks the starting point on a journey to excellence. An IChemE Award can take you to some unexpected places, make commercialisation easier, help to develop your team or grow your portfolio. You could even get a letter from the US President.
So every day this week we’ll be dedicating special blog posts to the 2016 Award winners and their innovative, fascinating, problem-solving projects. With the fantastic support of Morgan Sindall we have produced a video for every one – enjoy!
Continue reading Chemical engineering creates products that are changing lives #ichemeawards
Was #COP22 the COP of action? #InvestPlanet
COP22, or the 22nd Conferences of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has come to an end. Billed as the ‘COP of action’ by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, an estimated 25,000 people descended on Marrakech, Morocco to start the process of implementing the Paris Agreement.
However, COP22 had a lot to live up to, following the historic result of the Paris Agreement at the conclusion of COP21. All the countries of the world were invited to attend COP22, but only the countries who had ratified the Paris Agreement had decision- making authority.
The Marrakech 22nd Conference of Parties ran from 7-18 November 2016. It was also the 12th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), and the 1st Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1).
The IChemE Energy Centre went along for the second week of COP22 to ensure that the voice of the chemical engineering community was heard. This started with our side event – Investing in the Planet: Green banks and other financial tools to scale-up mitigation technologies – which the Energy Centre co-hosted with the Grantham Institute from Imperial College London and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The event looked at practical solutions to implementing the Paris Agreement, with the help of chemical engineers and financial institutions. Dr Rachael Hall, from the Energy Centre Board, gave the first presentation, an overview of deployment technologies available to mitigate climate change. Rachael outlined pathways to a zero-carbon economy, as demonstrated in IChemE’s technical policy document Chemical Engineering Matters.
Mark Apsey, also a Board member of the Energy Centre, gave his presentation on the pathways for organisations to deliver energy efficiency projects. Outlining various ‘road blocks’ to implementing greener energy solutions, Mark made it clear that he felt that more needed to be done to incentivise delivery.
Watch the side event on YouTube.
COP22’s interesting side-event programme was jam-packed, and this year saw an increased focus on technology solutions for and the investment required to mitigate climate change.
Mark said: “From IChemE’s perspective Chemical Engineering Matters has been created to not just cover energy, but water, food, and wellbeing – which are really trying to look at the whole system, as well as specific solutions to energy problems”.
The UNFCCC needs more chemical engineers at the table proposing feasible solutions for mitigating climate change and applying a systems thinking approach to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
COP22 was also Ban Ki-moon’s last COP conference. The Secretary-General of the United Nations until the end of the year, he spoke about the success in ratifying the Paris Agreement, which was announced just last month: “Countries have strongly supported the Agreement because they realize their own national interest is best secured by pursuing the common good. Now we have to translate words into effective policies and actions. This is critical to protect our planet, safeguard the most vulnerable and drive shared prosperity. Low-emission development and climate resilience will advance all the Sustainable Development Goals”.
An inspirational figure in the fight against climate change, Ban Ki-moon’s presence will be missed.
The aim of COP22 was to spend the conference working out a clear work plan for achieving the targets set in the Paris Agreement, however the UN has set a target of 2018 to have these plans finalised. This meant that a large proportion of COP22 was spent ‘fleshing out’ the Agreement’s fine print. This included financial support, which will have a massive impact on developing nations. Much of this year’s discussions surrounded the funding gap to research, and scale-up and implementation of the technology solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
During the CMA plenary, parties adopted the agenda and the organisation of work. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa reported that, as of 16 November 2016, 110 parties to the Convention had deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement, representing more than half of Convention parties (at time of writing this figure is now at 111).
Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment, said that the current pledges are insufficient to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals, but cited opportunities to “bend the emissions curve.” This means that we have to act now to ensure we implement climate mitigation strategies. Chemical engineers have a key role to play in solution implementation and applying systems-thinking.
During the conclusion of COP22 there was some exciting news, 47 countries from the Climate Vulnerable Forum committed to going 100% renewable as they adopted the ‘Marrakech Vision’.
Almost 200 countries gathered in Marrakech to work out the details of implementing the Paris Agreement. This deal established the overarching global goals for tackling climate change, but didn’t include the detail of how we get there. This left COP22 with a lot of complicated work to do.
Despite being billed as the COP of action, COP22 was instead the COP of discussing the next steps required to implement the Paris Agreement. However, this was a very necessary step if we are to successfully halt catastrophic climate change.
You can read the latest version of the COP22 proceedings by following this link.
If you were at COP22 please get in touch and tell us how your work is saving the planet.
Putting the Paris Agreement into action at #COP22 #InvestPlanet
Yesterday the UN’s 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) commenced in Marrakesh, Morocco. 20,000 delegates from 196 countries are expected to attend and discuss how to turn the COP21 Paris Agreement into action.
What happened at COP21?
COP21 was arguably one of the most historic meetings in terms of mitigating climate change. On 12 December 2015 the world united in an agreement to take action, and 197 countries signed the Paris Agreement which made each country take responsibility for recognising and combating climate change.
The central aim was to limit global temperature rise this century to well below 2°C over pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
And we were there too! The IChemE Energy Centre published its Climate Communique and Supporting Statement in October 2015, identfying five priority areas where technology should be deployed to help mitigate climate change:
- energy efficiency
- energy storage and grid management
- carbon capture, storage and utilisation
- sustainable bioenergy
Energy Board Centre Chair Professor Stefaan Simons hosted an official side event at COP21: Technology solutions for a 2oC world: Investing in renewables, storage, energy efficiency and CCS. If you missed it you can watch it all on our YouTube channel and read a write-up of the event and our follow-up talks in London.
The Paris talks concluded that 197 countries had adopted the Agreement, but the real commitment would be shown through ratification. The Agreement was opened for ratification on 22 April 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Parties representing 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions needed to be accounted for in order to make the Agreement ‘entered into force’.
The biggest emitters of CO2, including China and USA ratified at the beginning of September, causing a number of other countries to follow.
Last month the threshold was achieved, and on Friday 4 November, it was confirmed that the Paris Agreement had officially been entered into force. This means that it is now down to each country to start planning and implementing actions to reach the agreed targets.
The UK is still yet to ratify, despite the European Union making an official admission on 5 October. Currently 100 out of the 197 parties who adopted the Agreement have ratified.
What is happening at COP22?
Positioned as the ‘bridge’ between decision and action, COP22 will define the mechanism for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This covers funding, climate change policy, and technology deployment.
The ratification of the Agreement is incredibly timely, and encourages this Conference to concentrate on the emissions targets and goal of achieving a zero carbon economy by 2050.
The idea is to spend the conference working out a clear work plan for achieving the targets, and the UN has set a target of 2018 to have this finalised. This will involve some ‘fleshing out’ of the Agreement’s fine print, including financial support which will have a massive impact on developing nations.
Join IChemE at the talks
While the conference has already started, our presence at the talks kicks off on Monday 14 November. We will be holding a side event in collaboration with The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The event – Investing in the planet: Green banks and other financial tools to scale-up mitigation technologies – will focus on the financing and policy mechanisms required for deploying low carbon technologies. The event will make sure to highlight that financing is essential for both mitigation and adaptation, and in the broader context of the sustainable development goals.
Not going to be there in person? The event will be live-streamed on YouTube, so head over at 11:30 – 14:00 (WET) on Monday 14 November.
We’ll also have a stand at the exhibition, to help raise the profile of chemical engineers and advocate their role in mitigating climate change. Working with the IChemE Energy Centre, we will be spreading the word about how chemical engineers will help to deploy the technologies needed to meet the global targets.
Come and visit us at our stand.
You can also follow all the action on Twitter, just search #InvestPlanet.
Guest blog: Achieving decarbonisation in the UK – Low Carbon Summit 2016
The IChemE Energy Centre held its first Low Carbon Summit, in collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Network, with the venue provided by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
IChemE member and Energy Centre Future Energy Leaders Vice-Chair Matthias Schnellmann was there to participate in the discussions. Here are his thoughts:
Name: Matthias Schnellmann
Education: Chemical Engineering (MEng), University of Cambridge
Job Title: PhD Student, University of Cambridge
Special Interest Group: Clean Energy
Research interests: Low carbon energy
The IChemE Energy Centre, along with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) organised a Low Carbon Summit at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London on Friday 9 September 2016. It was an opportunity to consider what the COP21 and 5th Carbon Budget targets mean for the UK and how existing and future low carbon technologies will help us to meet them.
Continue reading Guest blog: Achieving decarbonisation in the UK – Low Carbon Summit 2016
Five chemical engineering research stories from September 2016
To help you stay up-to-date with the latest achievements from the chemical engineering research community here is our monthly instalment with some of the latest stories.
September’s five stories of amazing chemical engineering research and innovation are:
The Popeye effect – powered by spinach
Popeye was right; we can be powered by spinach! Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight, using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves. The article, publish in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates the unique combination of a man-made BPEC cell and plant membranes, which absorb sunlight and convert it into a flow of electrons highly efficiently. The team hope that this paves the way for the development of new technologies for the creation of clean fuels from renewable sources. The raw material of the device is water, and its products are electric current, hydrogen and oxygen.
Continue reading Five chemical engineering research stories from September 2016
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