Spokesperson: Prof. Mathias Ernst, mathias.ernst(a)tuhh.de
Deputy Spokesperson: Prof. Christian Becker, c.becker(a)tuhh.de
The world population's demand for energy and products will continue to rise in the coming decades. The efficient, climate- and resource-friendly supply of energy and products will therefore remain the greatest technical and sociopolitical challenge of the near future. In this context, it is essential to implement climate neutrality and environmental compatibility in energy supply and product generation as far as possible. Every energy and value chain, from the source to the consumer, will involve an irreversible share of energy and material transformations and thus cause impacts on humans and the natural environment. In the best case scenario, it can only be possible to minimize this irreversible portion as much as possible.
While in the past interconnections between different energy systems and process chains in the overall system only played a minor role, it has now been recognized that the coupling of the electricity, heat, industry and transport sectors offers a great opportunity for more efficient and environmentally friendly use of energy and raw materials. Therefore, an overarching view of energy and material conversion processes is necessary, which can only be developed in an interdisciplinary way. With its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach, which has been in place since its foundation, the TUHH has the necessary structural prerequisites and competencies to a particular extent.
For this research focus, the activities at the TUHH include the interrelated sub-areas of
- efficient systemic energy conversion, storage, transmission and distribution,
- efficient bioresource utilization and material conversion,
- energy- and water-efficient settlement technology,
- Climate impact of air transport and its mitigation,
- education for sustainable development
which are linked by methodology and by the overarching approach. Within the framework of joint research projects, the entire energy and material conversion chain from primary energy to final energy or from primary raw material to material product is systemically considered and optimized. At each step of the conversion, networking and interactions with other energy systems or energy and material conversion chains must be taken into account. Each project is considered under the question of how it contributes to the optimization of the entire energy and material system, whether there are alternatives and what effects on the climate or on the environment are to be expected. On the basis of this overarching view of efficient climate and environmentally compatible energy and material provision, storage, conversion, distribution and use, there are a large number of basic and application-oriented research projects. The focus is, for example, on sector-coupled energy systems, the planning and operation of resilient energy networks, the generation of sustainable energy sources, the low-emission combustion of biogenic solid fuels and thermophotovoltaics. Issues relating in particular to hydrogen production and use, as well as hydrogen transport and logistics, have a high priority. In particular, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Center Hereon, the fundamentals of the photocatalytic splitting of water in novel porous nanostructures are investigated. In the thematic complex of water-energy nexus, water quality and energy-efficient treatment technology, functionalized materials, energy efficiency in treatment, processes of soil salinization and degradation as well as the simulation of energy storage mechanisms, transport and conversion processes are the subject of research. The investigation and mitigation of the climate impact of air transport has been established as a further research field in recent years, also in close cooperation with DLR. The research focus "Environmental and Energy Systems" also plays an important role in teaching at the TUHH. Thus, relevant teaching content is not only taught in Bachelor's degree programs, such as Green Technologies, but also in particular in the Master's degree programs in Renewable Energies, Electrical Engineering, Energy Engineering including Marine Engineering, Shipbuilding and Ocean Engineering, Process and Bioprocess Engineering, Civil Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering, Aircraft Systems Engineering, Product Development, Logistics and Mobility, as well as Materials Science, and is also naturally very present in the international Master's program Environmental Engineering. In addition, the TUHH is developing an open additional qualification program "Technologies for Sustainable Development", which is oriented towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.