This is the question that apprentices at the SFZ Chemnitz ask themselves in their project “Our ecological footprint”. They were particularly interested in how to use energy efficiently and provide it in an environmentally friendly way. In order to get more background knowledge, 8 apprentices of the 1st year came to IEC with their teachers on February 26th, 2020.
The young people, who are training in professions such as IT specialists and cutting mechanics, first got an insight into the energy supply of Germany and the research work at IEC by research associate Michaela Nguyen. Related to the motto “Energy today and tomorrow”, the apprentices also learned how to reduce their personal CO2 emissions. Many of them were surprised how much CO2 is released by flying, for example.
After the theoretical part, the operational engineer Mr. Küttner led the youngsters through some of our large-scale test facilities. In the slagging fixed-bed gasification plant (SBV), they learned how to make CO and H2 based synthesis gas from coal, biomass or waste. This synthesis gas can then be used in the Syngas-to-Fuel (StF) test facility for the production of synthetic gasoline. It was also exciting for the participants to visit the control room, where the systems are controlled and monitored.
We hope to see SFZ again soon!
For the Wi-Ing Camp on February 12, 2020, interested students came together at TU Freiberg to experience a day full of insights into the diversity of the course industrial engineering.
In addition to materials science and mechanical engineering, the engineering focus of the course also included a trip to process engineering. The lecture “Mobility through electricity – what will drive us tomorrow?” gave an overview of the importance of mobility and fuels in society and their impact on the environment. The advantages and disadvantages of various concepts for mobility were also presented in this context: combustion engines, electric motors and fuel cells. Furthermore, the lecturer Florian Keller taught the students procedural steps and priorities of an alternative production of fuels, like fuels from electricity (power-to-liquids) or from waste (gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis).
As part of the course “Power Plant Technology”, students from TU Freiberg went for an excursion to the LEAG power station “Schwarze Pumpe” on January 10, 2020.
It started at the LEAG visitor center. Here, a multimedia exhibition about the energy industry explains vividly how electricity gets reliably into the socket.
The actual power plant tour followed. Since the participating students specialize in the field of energy process engineering, the tour was a bit more technical than normal. Besides asking many questions, they also had the opportunity to visit many technical systems, such as coal supply, steam turbines, cooling tower and flue gas cleaning.
On the way home, everyone agreed that this trip into practice and the collected impressions were an enrichment for everyone.
The Tech-Week came to an end with a field trip to Clausnitz, where the “Bergland eG” showed us their farm. They try to close the carbon circle as good as possible within their company. They use wind energy, produce the food for their cows completly on their fields (not self explainig with and use the cow dung to supply the biogas plant. The gained Energy (heat and electricity) is used for the buildings on the farm. And the sideproducts of the biogas plant, the fermentation residues, are used for fertilizing the fields.
Besides the process engineering part of the sturctures at the Bergland eG, one of the board members told us a lot about the reality of the forestery, agriculture and livestock farming, with some advices for the students what should be improved in everybody’s life to help the nature. Ususally you don’t see and hear such problems first hand, so it was an astonishing field trip.
On thursday, the first of august, the program of the Schools of University continued with a related topic like the day before. The students learned everything about the gasification of carbon based resources like plastic waste and the synthesis of fuel from this gas. Needless to say that they visited the industrial-scale plants for these production steps at the institute of energy process engineering afterwards.
In the afternoon there were some presentations about the different fields of study related to the different experimental topics of the week. In this way the pupils had the chance to orient themselves for their future study opportunities. The day ended with a visit to the Terra Mineralia, where the soul can calm down by watching those beautiful and stunning minerals.