Domestic Carbon Resources for a Circular Carbon Economy - a Topic of Strategic Interest for Europe

Participants of the trilateral workshop on 04.07.2017 in Zabrze ©TU Bergakademie
Responding to the invitation from Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS and the Polish Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal IChPW, experts and specialists from industry, politics and science from Poland, Czech Republic and Germany came together in Zabrze, Poland.

During an trilateral workshop the participants discuss options for the sustainable utilization of domestic coal esp. lignite and waste resources in a circular carbon economy. current and projected national trends and developments for domestic carbon resources and reserves, utilization and value chains in each country were presented and intensively discussed. All participants came to the mutual conclusion that the chemical utilization of carbon resources such as coal and waste via gasification routes is an important option for the sustainable and future use of such domestic resource. Chemical utilization of carbon resources can contribute to a lower CO2 footprint compared to conventional combustion routes, with the option to store large quantities of hydrogen from renewable power, which will minimize the CO2 footprint. At the workshop, it was also discussed how coal and waste co-gasification is the key to closing the carbon cycle and achieving a circular carbon economy. Moreover, it was concluded that this is a highly promising approach to support structural change and maintain jobs and know-how in coalmining regions across Europe.

One result of the meeting is a mutually signed communication about the outcomes of the workshop to inform the governments of the involved countries. In addition, the outline of a planned Polish-German feasibility study concerning the sustainable usage of lignite “Options and Prospects of Closed Carbon Cycles” was elaborated. The conduction of a feasibility study was induced by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. J. Wanka and Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education Dr. J. Gowin during the Hannover Messe in April 2017.

This kick-off to a planned yearly trilateral workshop was jointly organized with the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering IEC, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany.  

The participants agreed on the continuation of this trilateral discussion, with the next workshop being held at the Czech Academy of Science in Prague next year.