Chemistry for Breakfast

Christian Schumacher // Our partners and supporters BASF and the German Chemical Industry Fund will organise and host a science breakfast on 4 July early in the morning. In an introductory video produced by BASF six young researchers tell their story how chemistry powers energy. What are your ideas for sustainable solutions?

Conceiving the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting we decided there was also room for a few interactive sessions on the fringes of the official programme. We thought that science breakfasts would be the perfect way to start the day and approached some of our partners and supporters with this idea. Fortunately, BASF seized the opportunity and agreed to organise and host a “World Café” session on the topic “It’s All About Chemistry. How we Tackle the Energy Challenges of the Future!”. The scheme is to find out what aspiring young scientists and researchers suggest how to deal with the major energy challenges we are faced with. The initial question may be kept simple: What are the scientific areas we need to look at to make mobility more sustainable in the next decades? Everybody enjoys the comfort of a warm house and ample electricity for cooking and light. How can we make sure that more people on this planet can share this quality of life?

In preparation of the session to be held on 4 July morning, BASF asked us to invite you to discuss how we can tackle these and many other questions. Your comments and ideas will be a major incentive for the science breakfast. Please take some minutes to watch the video below, provided by BASF. Six BASF researchers share their views on power generation, storage and use. Together with our partner, we are looking forward to your comments and first ideas: How can chemistry contribute to solve the energy challenges of tomorrow?

Christian Schumacher, aged 32, is head of communications at the executive secretariat of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings for which he has been working since 2010. He holds a master’s degree in media science, political science and modern English literature.

11 Responses to “Chemistry for Breakfast”

  1. Bin LI Says:

    Thank you for your invitation for the breakfast. Energy is the one of the most important topics nowadays and in future, which we can find the interests and challenge from the nice video. In my opinion, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydrogen, water, etc. could be the future for the energy development. Hydrogen is one of the ideal energies, but how to produce hydrogen in a cheap and efficient way is still a main problem, if we can develop an inexpensive and efficient catalysts for the hydrogen production from water, I think it should be a good method. Another problem is the transportation, one solution is to synthesize an efficient catalyst or material, which can convert hydrogen to liquid (such as formic acid) or solid (like a special battery).
    That is my comments for this topic.
    Thank you!


  2. Magali Gauthier Says:

    Thank you for organizing this scientific breakfast about energy.
    Today, the scarcity of oil and the increasing enviromental problems resulting from our excessive use of conventional vehicles force our societies to think over new source of energy for our vehicles. Systems like batteries or fuel cells are the main candidates to succeed heat engines. However, can we talk of sustainability if the electricity stored in batteries or used to produce hydrogen is generated from coal or nuclear energy?
    In my opinion, development of green ways of producing electricity has to be combined to the development of sustanaible ways of transportation.
    It’s one of the topics I would like to address in this scientific breakfast.


  3. Janina Bucher Says:

    Thank you for organizing this discussion session.
    Of course, saving energy and producing it in a more sustainable way is a major challenge of our generation. As already mentioned in the video, new materials will play a major role, not only for more efficient batteries or fuel cells but also for light-weight cars, for example. All these things not only need to be invented or improved, but have to be produced, too, which amongst energy also requires suitable raw materials. In this context I would like to discuss how the future handling of energy and raw material supply are intertwined and how both can be put onto a sustainable basis.


  4. Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh Says:

    As we know that sustainable Development (SD) is the seeking to meet the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations. There are three strategic perspectives for sustainable development; 1. Socio-cultural, 2. Environmental, and 3. Economic. With sustainable development, we can expect the world, regions, countries and societies to be economically prosperous, socially sensitive and environmentally responsible. Now-a-days a question is the sustainable solution of energy issues. The solution may based on hydrogen economy (production, storage and consumption) but the question is again, what will be sustainable steps towards this. To answer this, nanocatalysts may solve this issue. I am focusing my research on three step models. 1. solar cells: utilization of sunlight in semiconducting nanomaterials to produce electricity. 2. electrolysis: electricity produced from solar cell along with solar light would be used for water splitting for the production of hydrogen in the presence of nanocatalysts at both electrodes. 3. fuel cell: hydrogen produced in this may be used in several applications like production of electricity at mega scale level (of course nanocatalysts as electrodes). Even it (system) can be used in vehicles to over come environmental issues.


  5. Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh Says:

    and thank you for selecting me a moderator for this breakfast discussion.


  6. Taslim Ur Rashid Says:

    Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to and the science breakfast on such an interesting topics. I am also feeling proud to be selected as a member of moderator team. Hope there is an amazing time waiting for us.


  7. Gaetano Angelici Says:

    It’s a great opportunity for me to participate to the science breakfast, and to be one of the moderator. Thank you very much!
    How chemistry powers energy is a question that leads to many other questions, and therefore to interesting discussions and debates.
    To effectively guide the discussion, I guess would be good to list a set of questions that face all the singular aspects of the problem, from the actual situation of energy production, to the use of new technologies, related problems, and so on.
    I am looking forward to discuss with you, more in details, all these aspects tomorrow evening.


  8. Johannes Franz Says:

    Thank you for organizing this world café about energy challenges in the future.
    As already mentioned with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, etc we are on the right way. But the great challenge in this context will be the storage of the energy and hydrogen. We have to develop new materials and technologies to store energy in an efficient and cheap way.
    Can photochemistry also be a solution to store energy directly in a chemical compound?
    Another important challenge is the production of fuel (energy)/ raw materials out of renewable materials like sugar or biomass. But is it really the right way to start a competition between fuel und food?
    I hope we will have an inspiring discussion and we’ll find the answers to the questions of tomorrow.


  9. Aazraa Oumayyah Pankan Says:

    I am pleased to participate in this science breakfast as this topic is of my interest. I believe that solar energy and fuel cells may help to overcome the challenges of the current energy situation. Nanoscience and nanotechnology will help in making these options more efficient . I am looking forward to hearing and sharing more ideas.


  10. Richard Cochran Says:

    Thank you for the invitation to your science breakfast, I am truly honored to attend. We all currently know that the human population is now being faced with an energy crisis and the Earth’s climate is in peril. Of the many technologies and ideas that have been put forth over the last few decades, I believe the greatest challenge is to persuade a majority of the population to begin a societal transition into using cleaner and more efficient energy all the while using “environmentally friendly” or “green” technologies. There are many options at our disposal, each bringing multiple advantages and disadvantages. One current debate is on the use of nuclear power, which in my opinion is our most viable and efficient option. All in all our generation has quite the task ahead and making great strides in developing technologies through scientific research that will provide our children with a clean and habitable planet. I look forward to lively discussion at this breakfast and hope that I myself can learn a great deal from many debates.


  11. Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh Says:

    Once again thanks to BASF for organizing World Café this morning and inviting me for a working dinner on 03rd July in Austria as a table host. It was a unique science breakfast with a concept of World Café , which my other colleagues missed in the rest science breakfasts of 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting. It was really a great fun and enjoyable moments to discuss, listen, create ideas, collect ideas and to meet BASF representatives whom I found very lovely and cooperative people. Being a table host, many ideas were collected in two rounds, which I think, if implemented then we may assume to solve energy crises for our future generations (children, grandchildren) without depending on fossil fuels. There are many ways to focus our research in the field of chemistry to address the issues but I would like to highlight few of them here like, cellular compounds extracted from plants, biofuels (sugar can, algae, palm oil, corn beans etc.), solar cells, photo voltaic cell/water splitting, hydrogen fuel cell, bio-waste, animal waste, silicon cell, molecular biology, artificial photosynthesis, renewable energy resources (solar, wind, water) and many more. We cannot propose the single one and most efficient solution for the whole world because it depends on regions where we live, like some countries have lot of winds, and others have sun shines with long day timings. Other than this, we must also have to formulate such policies so that we would avoid wastage of energy, save the energy and keep it for the future, develop some efficient system to store the energy, have to change the people habits and develop efficient catalysts (nano-catalysts) by using nanotechnology which would be active enough to minimize the cost and time to generate energy from water splitting-THE FUTURE OF ENERGY. I would be happy to work with BASF on this area to develop efficient catalysts/electrode materials for photovoltaic cell, solar cell, hydrogen fuel cell and materials for energy storage.


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