Industrial Panel: Chemical and Process Control –
Clean Process Industry

In appreciation of the strong connection and interaction between industry and academia in Austria, the program of ECC15 will feature two dedicated industrial panel sessions. These sessions are organized by the Industry Chairs and focus on the topics of Green Mobility and Clean Process Industry. Each session is composed of three expert talks and an open panel discussion, where the speakers will provide insights in current and upcoming challenges. Both sessions are scheduled in the afternoon tracks of ECC15 and are open for the public.

Carbon free fuels – A real option?
Speaker: Dr. Walter Böhme
Company: OMV AG, Vienna, Austria

Abstract: The EU transport sector, particularly road transport, depends almost completely on oil as a fuel source. Due to climate change and CO2 reduction targets as well as volatile oil mar-kets, reliable fuel alternatives must be found to replace fossil fuels in the long term. The EU has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 % by 2050. To reach that target, transport — as a major polluter responsible for about a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions — will have to cut by at least 60 % compared with 1990 levels. Decarbonisation target is different for the several segments of transport, for pas-senger cars the target is a reduction of 95%. Decarbonisation may be achieved through efficiency, biofuels and electric power-trains, including hydrogen. Full decarbonisation (target for passenger cars 2050) may not be achievable through improvements in the traditional internal combustion engine or alternative fuels alone.

In summary we can say that the long-term goals for fuel, drive systems and infrastructure are zero emissions, maximum efficiency at reasonable costs. The main change is set to start out in developed countries with ambitious CO2 reduction targets, triggered by statu-tory regulations; e.g 2020 target in EU is 95 gCO2/km for the weighted average fleet of each manufacturer. The target for 2030 and afterwards will be far below. The combustion engine will be around for a long time, even in passenger cars but particular in heavy duty trucks and similar applications. Fossil fuels and biofuels could be used in aircraft, heavy duty and and utility vehicles. However, fuel cells and battery electric vehicles will play a major role after 2030 in the passenger car sector. Electric vehicles (BatteryElectricVehi-cles, FuelCellElectricVehicles and PluginHybridElectricVehicles in electric drive) not only have zero tail-pipe emissions while driving – significantly improving local air quality – they can be made close to CO2-free over time and on a well-to-wheel basis, depending on the primary energy source used. Zero-emission power-trains therefore go hand-in-hand with the decarbonisation of energy supply, with the potential to significantly reduce emissions from central power and hydrogen production by 2050. Electric vehicles have high efficiency and substantially lower pollution from noise, NO2 and particles.

New technology also needs some product cycles to prepare the market and to reach market maturity; therefore it is understandably, that some manufacturers start now with market introduction to be ready in 2030. Similar to the market introduction of the hybrid cars, the system change will be gradual for companies who start early.

Control theory to enable eco-friendly technical innovations in semiconductor equipment industry
Speaker: Dr. Felix Staudegger
Company: Lam Research, Villach, Austria

Abstract: The continuous demands of building smaller, faster, more powerful and more power-efficient semiconductor devices require continuous innovation in semiconductor technology as well as for semiconductor processing equipment. In the production process of semiconductor devices, increasing care is taken to minimize the use of environmentally harmful chemicals and gases. Control methods and control theory are used by the wafer fabrication equipment industry to realize innovations for both aspects. These two aspects to control innovation are on one side enabling wafer fabrication processes with very tight specifications and tremendously small dimensions, which wouldn’t be possible without the use of control, and on the other side enabling new processes focused on prevention and reduction of environmental impact by using control theory.

Current and future challenges for automation and control towards a renewable heat supply
Speaker: Dr. Markus Gölles
Company: BIOENERGY 2020+, Graz, Austria

Abstract: The already ongoing development towards a renewable energy and in particular heat supply requires an extensive contribution from the field of automation and control.

Firstly, the different renewable energy sources typically go along with comparatively big variations of specific influencing variables which cannot be manipulated. For instance is the combustion of biomass significantly influenced by composition, size and water content of the biomass used or the cloudiness has a crucial influence on solar heating systems. However, in practical applications these disturbances can just be measured with poor quality or not at all. Thus, one main challenge is the development of appropriate estimation strategies which in many cases should be complemented by prediction strategies incorporating available additional knowledge such as typical consumer behavior or whether forecasts.

Furthermore, most of the renewable energy systems are continuously improved and developed further but there is still a big potential for improvement in their control. They are typically complex, nonlinear multivariable systems what is just partially or even not at all considered by the control strategies currently applied since they are mostly based on simple PID controllers. In some fields (e.g. solar heat) several advanced approaches have already been developed up to now but they are still very academic and have not made their way into standard implementation up to now. Thus, advanced control strategies for different renewable energy systems have to be further developed and implemented in order to ensure their efficient operation with low maintenance effort.

The third big challenge is the interaction of different renewable energy systems since a sustainable energy supply will just possible by a reasonable combination of different systems. In doing so, especially systems combining electricity and heat such as biomass fired CHP systems additionally interacting with other renewable energy sources (e.g. solar heat) will be very important.