One of the advantages of biomass is its ability to be converted to various energy products, such as heat, gas, fuel, and electricity. At a global level, research studies are conducted to ﬁnd suitable biomass conversion technologies based on technologies that favor conversion from organic waste. Professor Christos Argirusis, director of the Laboratory of Inorganic Materials Technology of the National Technical University of Athens, and Dr Georgia Sourkouni, Senior Researcher in the Clausthal Center for Materials Technology of the Clausthal University of Technology, will discuss the topic of Bioenergy Production from the perspective of their related fields, in a hybrid talk on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in the context of the 6th Cycle Lecture Series on Chemical Engineering – Environmental Engineering and Environmental Conservation. The Lecture Series is organised by the Postgraduate Programme “Environmental Conservation and Management” and the Chemical Engineering and Engineering Sustainability Laboratory of the Open University of Cyprus, and is supported by the Office of the Environmental Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus.
The event that will start at 18:00 GMT+2 will be held at the main OUC building in Nicosia (33 Yiannou Kranidioti Avenue, 2220 Latsia), and will be broadcasted live through the OUC eLearning tools at this weblink: https://tinyurl.com/bddunxsp
Professor Argirusis will address the topic of “Bioenergy Production via Microbial Fuel Cells”. The most commonly used technologies to convert biomass to energy are advanced oxidation membrane processes, electrochemical, and physicochemical treatments (such as ﬂocculation), and anaerobic processes. Besides these processes, bioelectricity from biomass can be produced by two other technologies, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) (working at high temperatures above 650 °C) or Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), with the latter demonstrating the advantages of high theoretical energy efﬁciency, and also mild operating conditions. MFCs, used as innovative biochemical reactors, enable simultaneous energy production and waste treatment. They usually operate under adiabatic conditions, utilizing microorganisms to treat wastewater compositions using mainly carbon-based electrodes as anodes and cathodes. This presentation is a unique opportunity to gain insights into cutting-edge biomass conversion technologies, and it is especially relevant in the context of the growing global emphasis on sustainable energy sources and environmentally responsible waste treatment.
The title of Dr Sourkouni’s presentation is: “Degradation of SOFC Anodes Induced by Chemical and Electrochemical Sintering using EIS and µ-CT”. The goal of the study that will be presented was to quantify degradation phenomena on anodes that can be attributed to chemical (thermal) and/or electrochemical sintering, to find out the underlying mechanisms and to propose countermeasures. The samples have been thermally aged for times from 0 to 1000 h and additional samples of the same type are subjected to electrochemical loading over the same period. The cells are then examined for microstructural changes using FE-SEM/EDS and micro-computed tomography (µ-CT), and the results are correlated with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) parameters of long-term electrochemical experiments under dry and humid conditions. It has been shown that it is possible to distinguish between the thermal (chemical) and the electrochemical part of the microstructure degradation. Humidity is an important factor, which affects the microstructure in the long term. Tortuosity, porosity, and specific resistance are changing with time, depending on the humidity of the fuel. The EIS results confirm through the increasing specific resistance the influence of the changes on the microstructure to the electrochemical properties of the cells.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christos Argirusis is a chemist with PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clausthal University of Technology (TU Clausthal). After a short period working in the industry as laboratory director, in 1999 he joined TU Clausthal and formed the research group “Functional Materials”. Since 2008, he is working with the National Technical University of Athens, (since 2018) as full professor and director of the Laboratory of Inorganic Materials Technology at the School of Chemical Engineering specialised in “Inorganic Materials Technology – Ceramic Materials”. His experience lies in the area of materials engineering with special interest in preparation methods of nanomaterials, using ultrasound and hydrodynamic cavitation, microwaves etc. His research group currently works on the preparation of nanomaterials both metallic and ceramic, as well as metal-ceramic composites for various applications such as catalysts, metal organic frameworks for gas storage or drug delivery, activated electrodes for energy conversion devices etc. Other research interests focus on electrophoretic deposition, transport properties in condensed matter and sono-electrochemistry. He has published more than 100 papers in peer reviewed journal papers, 3 book chapters and more than 120 conference papers, and holds two patents. He is the treasurer of the European Society of Sonochemistry e.V., vice president of the Greek Ceramic Society and visiting scientist in TU Clausthal, Germany.
Dr. Georgia Sourkouni is a chemist and senior researcher in the Clausthal Center for Materials Technology of TU Clausthal, where she is leading the group of Functional Materials. Her group is working on the preparation of novel inorganic materials with tailored properties. Modern and non-conventional methods like sonochemistry, sono-electrochemistry, mechanochemistry etc. are employed for the preparation of nanomaterials and decoration of ceramic materials with both metallic and well as oxide nanoparticles for energy applications like Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Microbial Fuel Cells. Dr. Sourkouni has published more ca. 50 scientific papers in international peer reviewed journals and has more than 70 presentations in international conferences. She is a member of the European Society of Sonochemistry, and is serving as elected representative of the scientific staff of TU Clausthal. She served also as co-organizer and/or member in scientific committees of international conferences.
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