A Million Swiss Francs for a Berlin University Project
From more than one hundred applicants to the Werner Siemens Foundation award, a project by the Freie University Berlin has been picked out to be supported by seed funding of over €1M. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hasenstab-Riedel and his team in the ChemSysCon project, working with colleagues at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, want to develop new chemical systems as “technologies for sustainable resource use.” The idea is a new form of chlorine storage. Chlorine plays an important role in the synthesis of more than half of all products of the chemical industry, and thus influences our daily lives like no other chemical element. However, chlorine production is an extremely energy-intensive process – in Germany alone, the annual production of chlorine (approximately 5.5 million tons) is responsible for more than two percent of total electrical energy consumption. Also, chlorine gas is toxic, and storage and transport poses potential hazards. Researchers led by Hasenstab-Riedel have developed a cost-effective chemical chlorine storage system that binds chlorine gas in an ionic liquid with very low energy input. It can also be handled simply and safely. The team now wants to develop this technology further and bring it to market in the form of diverse sustainable applications, such as the recycling of electronic waste.