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Archive for the ‘English News’ Category

Precision Medicine – where Bioinformatics & Medical Informatics meet. That was the general topic for the German Conference on Bioinformatics in Heidelberg from 16-19 September 2019. Participants had a great time – not only with a lot of cutting-edge science, but also some rather unexpected discoveries…

The German Conference on Bioinformatics (GCB) is an annual, international conference devoted to all areas of bioinformatics and meant as a platform for the whole bioinformatics community. Recent meetings attracted a multinational audience with 250 – 300 participants each year.
In 2019, the conference focused on bringing physicians, bioinformatics & medical informatics together and aimed to showcase applications and opportunities beyond.

Everything is ready…

And here we go

Inspiring talks on cutting-edge science…

… lessons learned…

…and yes, cats!

Great atmosphere for the evening lecture

And the FaBI Dissertation Award goes to…

Dr. Kai Dührkop (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) received the Dissertation Award 2019 of the Bioinformatics Working Group (FaBI). He developed a highly performative, transdisciplinary method for the rapid identification of small molecules from tandem mass spectra. These are an important tool in medical analytics, metabolome research and the search for biomarkers in pharmaceutical research. Its focus are fragmentations of unknown molecules. New algorithms allow for the informatic registration of complex splits in mass spectra. By comparing numerous alternative disintegration pathways, the computer identifies the most plausible structures. Kai Dührkop’s methodology is the basis for analytical software that is now used in laboratories.

A group photo from above

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In the middle of a hot summer, c. 1,500 researchers gathered in Aachen to discuss the latest trends in catalysis at EuropaCat in Aachen. As always, the catalysis community let us be part of the event via Twitter (#EuropaCat2019) – we have collected some of the highlights of the conference.

The claim of EuropaCat 2019 „Catalysis without Borders“ drew some attention in advance:

Science,…

…awards…

…things to see in the exhibition…

…cooperation…

… and fun!

Leaving with a teardrop in the eye after a great event:

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ICCDU 2019 was definitely „the place to be“ for anyone working on carbon dioxide utilization and the event everybody has been talking about. See for yourself what happened in Aachen:

Carbon dioxide utilization requires the cooperation of many disciplines – the CO2 emitting industries as well as chemists, biotechnologists, engineers and experts for sustainability and life cycle analysis. This is reflected in the variety of scientific topics at ICCU 2019:

https://dechema.de/Power_to_X.html

But carbon dioxide utilization is not only a matter of science and technology. Policy frameworks and social acceptance are prerequisites for its implementation, and they were discussed in Aachen, too:

If you think science is hard to visualize, see some of the presentations given at ICCDU:

A scientific conference is about research and hard facts, but also about people – here are some of the participants and their impressions:

Scientists reflect what they are doing – CO2 is something everbody is confronted with in their daily life:

And when we say, „everybody is talking about“ carbon dioxide utiliziation, we mean everybody!

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/06/25/muck-brass-meet-uk-entrepreneurs-turning-waste-co2-beer-cement/

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Interview with Michele Aresta, Initiator of ICCDU and Member of the International Committee

This year’s ICCDU is the 17th edition of the event. What were your expectations when you started this series?
ICCDU was started after two Summer Schools funded by NATO on “CO2 as Carbon Source, 1986” and “Reaction Mechanisms in Enzymatic and Model carboxylation and reduction reactions based on CO2, 1989”.  The ICCDU Series was started for being the international forum where the scientific community working on CO2 conversion could meet. And this has been ICCDU since its start.

How would you describe the first ICCDU – was this more an academic discussion, or did you already envision concrete applications?
Surprisingly, in the 1980s there were already practical applications in the field of polymers from CO2 (Al-based catalysts) which went on stream. The scientific discussions already covered other themes such as CO2 reduction, photocatalysis, synthesis of fine chemicals, polymers such as polyurethanes and polycarbonates and so on. What people do today was well known in the 1980s. The interest in CO2 chemistry was at that time boosted by the“oil crisis” (1973, 2000s).  Climate change was not yet a serious issue. The low cost of oil has decreased the interest in CO2 conversion in the 2000-2010s. Now the push comes from climate change, a completely different motivation.
The scheme below was developed in 1987: it presents the vision I had about CCU 30 years ago:


 An Integrated approach to CO2 Utilization, M. Aresta, NATO ASI Series 1989.

The routes to go were very clear to me at that time! We are running now along those paths.

How has CCU (not the conference, but the technology) evolved since the first ICCDU? What expectations were met, what not? And did unexpected develpoments occur?
As I wrote in a paper published in JCOU in 2013 “The changing paradigm in CO2 conversion”, the availability of cheap PV-H2 makes possible today the exploitation of CO2 reduction to energy products, that did not make sense in a fossil-C based energy frame as it was in the 1980s. And this is a big step towards “circular economy of C”.

What is special about ICCDU compared to other events on the topic of CCS and CCU?
ICCDU is a scientific forum and gathers scientists from usually 35+ countries. In 2015 we had over 40 countries present. It is a global conference that has since a few years opened up to policy makers and industrialists: this is a must these days.

From your personal point of view, what are you looking forward to most at this year’s ICCDU?
In future years ICCDU will be more and more inclusive and will sustain the development of new science and technology in the direction of implementing a circular C-economy by integrating CO2 conversion, biotechnologies, and biomass utilization. Integration of biotechnologies, catalysis, photocatalysis is essential for CCU. Synthetic photochemistry is a key step. Integration with nature is essential. Learning from nature is our future.

What will, from your personal point of view, be the „next big thing“ in CCU?
Direct co-processing of water and CO2 for developing an “Economy based on CO2 and water”! This is the title of my most recent book published with Springer and this is my vision since ever.
CCU is cycling Carbon. CO2 is renewable carbon: one can cycle it again and again as Nature does. This is the basis of bioeceonomy: CCU is integrated with the Bioeconomy concept. We should not make the mistake of keeping biomass utilization and CCU apart! They must be integrated.

Join ICCDU 2019 in Aachen and discuss the opportunities and applications of carbon capture and utilization with experts from research and industry from all over the world!

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Air Liquide has established an ambitious programme that will take digitalization of the business to the next level. We spoke to Moussa Diakhité, Real Time Engineer, Air Liquide France Industrie, about the changes in operations and the opportunities and challenges encountered during the transformation.

„With the centralization and digitalization of its operation Air Liquide has changed its usage of the data. The implementation of SIO streams and a contextual database for time series data are part of thoses changes.“

Moussa Diakhité , Air Liquide in his statement on the PRAXISforum Big Data Analytics

In your statement, you say that Air Liquide has changed the usage of data. Could you describe what the most important aspect of this change is – is this how you regard data, is it the combination of data that were treated separately before, or is it the amount of data you analyse – or something completely different?

As for Air Liquid France Industrie, the large industry part has been collecting data for about 15 years. The change is mainly on the analystics we are doing with it, the standardization of it and the new tools such as „SIO Predict“ for Predictive Maintenance, „SIO Perform“ to optimize the unit and „SIO Optim“ with the digital twin we are making out of our data already stored within our servers.

According to press articles, Air Liquide uses the SIOs to run operations remotely and is, among other things, using predictive maintenance methods. What is the relation between the remote centers and the engineers on site – do they have different roles?

As for Air Liquide France Industrie, the distribution of roles on plants were as follows: Plant manager / Production supervisor / Technicians. Now it is as follows: Plant manager / Foreman / Technicians. The plant is focused on  the safety on plant, equipment availability, maintenance and regulatory compliance while at the SIO Center we are taking care of the production optimization, predictive maintenance, customer service and billing for all plants.

Information and registration: https://dechema.de/BigData.html

Thanks to predictive maintenance, we are able to detect the risk of failure of equipment and we discuss with plant people about the best calendar to check the equipment or/and plan a maintenance on it without disturbance for our customer; we are complementary on our mission regarding this subject as the plants still have local expertise on all maintenance subject matter.

As for SIO Optim and Perform, we have tools providing us with the best configuration for our plants; using SIO Drive we are able to apply proposed solutions remotely. But we are still communicating a lot with the plant to ensure that the proposed solution is feasible (no limitation on the water cooling system, equipment availability,…) and for sure we need to unify both SIO Center and plants in a joint team. Explaining the actions done on either side is mandatory to achive the goal of SIO. An e-logbook has been developed regarding that last subject.

You also use big data methods to predict the needs of your customers. How much integration of data and knowledge with your customers’ operations is necessary for this?

Using statistical computing tools such as R we are able to forecast the liquid and gas demand of our customer enabling to plan their consumption. They are also providing us with forecasts of their consumption by mail and by phone.

What do you personally perceive as the biggest opportunity in this whole range of big data applications – more the operative part, more the business part, or is Air Liquide maybe even introducing new business models based on digitalization?

Personnally I think all of this is a big opportunity to make excellent solutions developed by Air Liquide’s experts accessible and easy to implement to the Group. Using those tools we are giving a real legacy to all the work already done.

If you want to learn more about the digital transformation at Air Liquide, meet Moussa Diakhité (and many other experts) at the DECHEMA-PRAXISforum Big Data Analytics in the Process Industry on 9-10 April 2019 in Frankfurt. Last-minute registration is possible on site!

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The catalysis community not only does great research and enables more than 80 % of the products we use in daily life, it’s also very communicative. If you didn’t participate in the 52th Katalytikertagung from 13-15 March 2019 in Weimar, here is what you missed:

Looking forward to the Katalytikertreffen

Here we go!

Exhibition


Science…

… celebrations…

… and fun!

Coming up next…

Where will we meet again? At EuropaCat 2019 – 14th European Congress on Catalysis, EuropaCat 2019, to be held in Aachen,Germany,
from 18 – 23 August, 2019.

  • The major European Conference in the field of catalysis
  • More than 1500 participants from industry and academia
  • Around 200 lectures and 1000 posters
  • Young Scientists meet experienced experts to discuss future challenges in catalysis
  • Attractive social programme with excursions and EuropaCat party
Learn more at http://europacat2019.eu/


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Die Vielfalt der Technologien ist für die Prozessindustrie beim Thema Digitalisierung bei betrieblichen Sicherheitsthemen eine besondere Herausforderung. Zu dieser Einschätzung kommt Hans Volkmar Schwarz, Vice President Process Safety Projects bei BASF. Wir sprachen mit ihm wenige Tage vor der „European Conference on Process Safety and Big Data“ in Frankfurt.

DECHEMA: Was sind aus Ihrer Sicht die größten Herausforderungen im Bereich Digitalisierung für die Prozessindustrie?

Hans Volkmar Schwarz: Momentan geht es darum, für die vielen Ideen, die es gibt, auch Business Cases zu haben. Man möchte das Geld ja für die Dinge ausgeben, die Effizienz, Effektivität und Wirtschaftlichkeit verbessern.Die Herausforderung ist es, zu verstehen, welche auf Sicherheit bezogenen Arbeitsprozesse durch Digitalisierung verbessert oder gar in disruptiver Weise ersetzt werden können, um damit bessere Safety-Ergebnisse zu erreichen.

DECHEMA: Wenn Sie an die Konferenz Anfang November denken, gibt es etwas, worauf Sie sich besonders freuen?

 Schwarz: Vor dem oben beschriebenen Hintergrund der Optimierung von Arbeitsprozessen freue ich mich darauf, im Rahmen der Konferenz Beispiele und Erfahrungsberichte zu hören, die zu verbesserter Sicherheitsleistung führen werden, unnd natürlich auch neue Methoden und Vorschläge für Anwendungen.

Mehr zur Konferenz sowie Anmeldung unter https://www.aiche.org/ccps/conferences/european-conference-on-process-safety-and-big-data/2018

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