Keynote Speaker I

Prof. Jan Baeyens

Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China \ KU Leuven, Belgium


Biography: JAN BAEYENS (° 1946) studied Nuclear Engineering (Brussels-Belgium) and Chemical Engineering (Leuven-Belgium). He obtained his Ph.D. in 1974 at the Postgraduate School of Powder Technology (Bradford-U.K.). After his military service and 13 years of employment (1975- 1988) in engineering divisions of various Belgian companies, he became a part-time professor at the University of Leuven (B) and worked as a process and project consultant in Europe and overseas. He joined the University of Antwerpen (B) in 2003 as a full-time professor, responsible for teaching and research in the fields of environmental, powder and process technology. Between 2007 and 2013, he was a Chair holder of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering (Chair of Integrated Process Development) at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and at the University of Warwick (U.K.), where he lectured on process design, sustainable development and renewable energy. He moreover co-ordinated research in the above fields. Since October 2010, he became Visiting Professor at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT) and Principal Investigator of the Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Soft Matter Science and Engineering (also BUCT), where he is still actively involved in the life science/technology and renewable energy research. He continues to co-supervise PhD and Masters' research at the University of Leuven and at BUCT. Despite his late academic start, he has contributed to over 250 publications in international journals, is author/editor of 14 books and a regular speaker and chairman at international congresses. His h-factor is 57 (Scopus) and 66 (Google Scholar). He is a regular Guest Editor for Elsevier journals, and editorial board member with MDPI and Springer-Frontiers.


Speech Title: Improved Anaerobic Digestion by Pre-treatment Waste Activated Sludge (WAS)

Abstract: The anaerobic digestion of wastewater treatment sludge (WAS) produces a "green" biogas, while reducing the amount of residual sludge. To increase the yield of biogas, several combined pre-treatment methods can be used. These pre-treatment methods substantially reduce the amount of volatile suspended solids (VSS) and their associated total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) Pre-treating the sludge will increase the methane yield by 15 to 30%. Different treatment methods are dealt with: - The thermochemical hydrolysis pre-treatment, using an alkaline or acid addition to enhance solubilization of the sludge cells and increase biogas production.
- The alkaline and high-pressure homogenizer pre-treatment, combining a chemical and mechanical treatment.
- The alkaline and ultrasound pre-treatment, capable of solubilizing organic sludge compounds by different mechanisms, such as fast and effective ultrasound disruption of cells and increasing the effect of the alkaline (NaOH) treatment.
- The combined alkaline and microwave pre-treatment also enhances the sludge solubilization by at least 20% in comparison with the performance of each separate process.
- The microwave (MW) and oxidation pre-treatment is a very "green" technology with most of the WAS suspended solids (SS) fastly (< 5 min) disintegrated with MW irradiation at 80°C
- Finally, the ultrasound and oxidation pre-treatment will be assessed. Ozone and peroxides are powerful oxidizing agents. Coupling oxidation and ultrasonic cavitation leads to the disruption of activated sludge flocs, increasing the specific surface of aggregates and the associated facility to chemical action. The increased peroxide decomposition and transfer in the solution are thermotically fostered by the cavitation bubbles, releasing nascent oxygen and the enhancing the free radicals activity.
All findings will be individually assessed and summarized in a Table providing operation conditions and results achieved.

Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Martin Schiemann

Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany


Biography: Dr. Schiemann started his career at Ruhr-University Bochum in the department of physics. After having achieved his diploma, he moved to the faculty of mechanical engineering to join the Department of Energy Plant Technology, where he finished his PhD on spray roasting processes. Since 2012, his work group focusses on different thermal processes. Reacting particles of various kinds are the main research subject, mainly examined experimentally on the lab scale but also in larger facilities complemented by numerical simulation techniques. Spray roasting of metal chloride solutions is a thermal conversion technology to reduce waste from chemical processes producing valuable metal oxide particles. Metal fuel particles are a potential chemical energy storage material with several advantages over other storage technologies. Biomass conversion play a significant role, as its carbon-lean nature is beneficial and options for negative carbon dioxide emissions. Current projects on biomass-oxy-combustion are part of the collaborative research center Oxyflame, where biomass combustion is investigated from the pulverized particle to the technical plant scale. Thermal radiation research on different length-scale with experimental and numerical methods completes the profile of Martin’s work group. The research results have led to 78 journal publications and a similar number of conference participations. Martin teaches courses on carbon capture technologies and energy plant technology supplementing his research interests.


Speech Title: Pulverized biomass combustion in oxy-fuel atmospheres

Abstract: Several options exist to reduce carbon emissions utilizing biomass as a fuel, one of them being oxy-fuel combustion. Pulverized biomass has been characterized in-depth as a substitute for coal, but the changes in combustion atmosphere tending towards significantly higher carbon dioxide concentration and potentially elevated water vapor concentrations have been suspected to change combustion behavior. Several research projects on different scales have tackled potential issues on bio-oxy combustion and supported the development towards a coherent picture of this technology.
With this presentation, important characteristics of bio-oxy combustion will be discussed. Like most solid carbonaceous fuels, biomass combustion starts with (severe) combustion of volatiles followed by char conversion. Due to the differences in chemistry, biomass shows clear differences to coal, which is often called a reference because of the huge amount of literature being available for this retarding type of solid fuel. Pyrolysis experiments under pulverized fuel conditions show, that the atmosphere has an influence on (secondary) pyrolysis products. Char formation happens with minor differences, but the combustion atmosphere changes the combustion behavior to some extent, such that models being calibrated for coal in air or oxy atmospheres require a revision before application for biomass oxy-combustion is possible. Current achievements and the general status of the technology are discussed.

Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Antonio Zuorro

Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy