100 years IEC

The journey from the Lignite Foundation (Braunkohlenforschungsinstitut) to the Innovation Center @ IEC for Carbon Conversion Technologies

The history of the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering (IEC) at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg dates back to the Lignite Foundation which was founded in Freiberg by the State of Saxony and industrial partners in 1918 to support the development of the Saxony lignite industry. In 1919, the Heat Economy Department was established as a precursor of IEC, which then became an institute of the university in 1945. Following the scientific reorganization of the institute after the German reunification in 1991, the institute’s research and education activities expanded from a focus on the efficient and economical conversion of fossil resources to the development of sustainable value chains for the chemical and energetic utilization of primary and secondary carbon resources. Through close collaboration with diverse industrial and scientific partners worldwide, one of the major aims of IEC is to be at the forefront of technology development to support the transition towards a circular carbon economy and to close the carbon cycle through the integration of the renewable energy sector. A new exciting development is the establishment of a Fraunhofer Department for Chemical Conversion Processes at the institute in 2018 to consolidate German expertise in this area within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. This is intensified through the founding of a Fraunhofer IMWS Branch Office “Circular Carbon Technologies” at IEC in Freiberg. Another strong focus of IEC lies in the purification of exhaust gases emitted from mobile and stationary sources and for the synthesis of chemicals and fuels. These activities are embedded in a concept of fundamental research to engineer advanced catalytic materials and processes. To celebrate the 100 years anniversary of IEC, we warmly invite our international partners and colleagues from science, industry and politics to join us in Freiberg from 10th to 12th October 2019.