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Network for a Circular Carbon Economy (NK2)

Carbon-containing raw materials are vital resources for the industry and underpin the wealth of numerous nations. A transition towards a circular carbon economy can enable carbon to be retained in the system rather than be emitted as climate polluting CO2 upon combustion/incineration and/or landfilling. This however requires a change from business-as-usual and a coupling of the energy, chemical, engineering, waste management, recycling and other sectors (e.g. processing, lightweight construction and renewables). 

To facilitate intersectoral dialogue and collaboration, the Network for a Circular Carbon Economy (in German: Netzwerk Kohlenstoffkreislaufwirtschaft i.e. NK2 Network) was initiated in 2019 by Fraunhofer IMWS and IEC, TU Bergakademie Freiberg. The NK2 Network provides a neutral platform for information exchange, knowledge sharing as well as intersectoral and international networking. Aim is to identify and address socio-technological-economical-ecological-political issues associated with the transition towards a circular carbon economy via workshops, experience exchanges, trainings and conferences, and to actively engage diverse stakeholders from industry, science, politics and civic society and contribute to socio-political dialogues about associated opportunities and challenges.

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Key topics and focuses for NK2

  • Materials, processes and technologies for the conversion of solid carbon resources 
  • Integration of “green” hydrogen and renewable power 
  • CO2 -neutral, gas-based processes and syntheses for chemical basis materials and synthetic fuels 
  • New materials, material utilization & process design 
  • Information technology 
  • Systems and sustainability for a circular economy 
  • Political framework and legislations

NK2 partners include

  • Air Liquide Forschung und Entwicklung GmbH
  • CAC Engineering GmbH
  • Chair of Decarbonization and Transformation of Industry, BTU Cottbus 
  • Covestro Deutschland AG
  • DBFZ Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH
  • Dow Olefinverbund GmbH
  • Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS
  • Hallesche Wasser und Stadtwirtschaft GmbH
  • Hochschule Merseburg
  • IBExU Institut für Sicherheitstechnik GmbH
  • LyondellBasell Polyolefine GmbH
  • RWE Power AG
  • Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V.
  • Synthos Schkopau GmbH
  • TAF Thermische Apparate Freiberg GmbH



TU Bergakademie Freiberg
Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering (IEC)
Professorship of Energy Process Engineering (EVT)

Reiche Zeche
Fuchsmuehlenweg 9 D
09599 Freiberg/Germany

+49 3731 39-4511
circular-carbon [at] iec [dot] tu-freiberg

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