Prof. Jan Baeyens | Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China 


Jan Baeyens studied Nuclear Engineering (Brussels) and Chemical Engineering (Leuven). He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Bradford-U.K. After 13 years of employment 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. In 2003. He started the Faculty of Bio-engineering at the University of Antwerp. In 2005, he moved to the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and the University of Warwick (U.K.), where he lectured on process design, sustainable development, renewable energy and powder technology, while also co-ordinating research in these fields. He has contributed to over 200 publications in international journals, is author/editor of 12 books, and is a regular speaker at international congresses. His h-factor is 55, and citations exceed 15000. Since 2010, he is Visiting Professor at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, where he is actively involved in Life Science and Technology research. Since 1989, he is managing director of European Powder and Process Technology (EPPT). Within EPPT, he continues to co-ordinate design and consultancies for Belgian and overseas companies, mostly in the field of powder technology and renewable energy. EPPT is a partner in European research projects (FP7, and H2020).


Speech Title "Solid-liquid separation of particulate slurries"





Prof. Soteris Kalogirou | Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus


Professor Soteris Kalogirou is at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences and Engineering of the Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus. He is currently the Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology. In 2011 he received from the University of Glamorgan the title of D.Sc. He is a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and Founding Member of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts.

For more than 35 years, he is actively involved in research in the area of solar energy and particularly in flat plate and concentrating collectors, solar water heating, solar steam generating systems, desalination and absorption cooling.

He has a large number of publications as books, book chapters, international scientific journals and refereed conference proceedings. He is Editor-in-Chief of Renewable Energy and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Energy, and Editorial Board Member of another seventeen journals. He is the editor of the book Artificial Intelligence in Energy and Renewable Energy Systems, published by Nova Science Inc., co-editor of the book Soft Computing in Green and Renewable Energy Systems, published by Springer, editor of the book McEvoy’s Handbook of Photovoltaics, published by Academic Press of Elsevier and author of the books Solar Energy Engineering: Processes and Systems, and Thermal Solar Desalination: Methods and Systems, published by Academic Press of Elsevier.

He has been a member of World Renewable Energy Network (WREN) since 1992 and is a member of the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) and International Solar Energy Society (ISES).


Speech Title "Status of Renewable Energy Systems in the World"

Abstract-This presentation examines the current status of renewables in the world. The presentation starts with some facts about climate change, global warming, and the effects of human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels on the climate problem. It then outlines of the status of renewables in the world, which includes their shares with respect to conventional fuel use for power and for electricity production alone, and their social dimension in terms of jobs created. Then the basic forms of renewables are examined in some detail, which include solar thermal, both for low and high temperature applications, photovoltaics, hydro power, onshore and offshore wind energy systems and biomass/biofuels. In all these the basic technology is presented followed by the current status, the installed capacity in the last decade, which reveals their upward trend, as well as the prospects of the technology and some new research findings.





Prof. Lise APPELS | University of Leuven (KU Leuven – Belgium)


Lise APPELS studied Bioscience Engineering (M.Sc., 2006) at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). She graduated as Chemical Engineering Ph.D. in 2010 at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven – Belgium). After a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at KU Leuven, she was appointed as an assistant professor at KU Leuven (department of Chemical Engineering) in October 2013. In 2018, she became a full-time associate professor at the same department. Lise Appels is mainly working on the conversion of organic waste streams to bio-energy carriers, and renewable chemicals, via the use of mixed-culture microbial communities and chemo-catalytic processes. She has published 80 papers in peer-reviewed international journals (ISI-WoS). Her work received over 4800 citations and her h-index is 24. She has contributed (as organizer, scientific committee member, keynote lecturer, session chair, presenter) to numerous international conferences. She is subject editor “Biomass” of Renewable Energy (IF 8.001), member of the Editorial board of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (IF 14.982) and Chemical Engineering Journal (IF 13.273), and a regular reviewer for numerous international journals.


Speech Title "Anaerobic digestion as a key technology in a sustainable economy: current achievements and challenges"

Abstract-The EU sludge production has grown from 5.5 million tons of dry matter in 1992 to 10.1 million tons in 2008 and projections show that approximately 13.0 million tons will be reached in 2021. The final disposal routes for this waste stream are limited. Because of the stringent legislation regarding the presence of heavy metals and toxic non-biodegradable organics, land application for agricultural use is only possible for a small fraction of the sludge (about 40% in the European Union). The other part of the sludge is mostly incinerated in dedicated sludge incinerators, co-digested with other types of waste, or after drying utilised as a secondary fuel in mostly cement kilns. Because of the high water content and poor mechanical dewatering properties of waste activated sludge (typically only a DS-content of approximately 20 – 25 % is achievable), these routes are only feasible after an energy-intensive pre-drying step. Sludge treatment and disposal already account for approximately 50~60% of the total wastewater treatment costs. Mainly because of these reasons, technologies that result in a reduction of the total amount of waste sludge to be disposed, are of large interest.

Anaerobic digestion entails the conversion of organic matter into an energy-rich biogas consisting of ca. 65% CH4 and 35% CO2, and is governed by a complex consortium of Bacteria and Archaea. It is generally considered as the preferable strategy for processing organic waste streams such as sewage sludge, manure and agricultural waste, since the biogas is valorised through (on-site) CHP applications for immediate heat and electricity production, or used as a replacement for natural gas, after biogas purification and drying. Indeed, the number of biogas and bio-methane plants across the EU are steadily increasing, as reported by the European Biogas Association (EBA), reaching a total of 18,202 and 660 plants respectively in 2018.  

Current biogas applications are focused on its properties as an energy carrier. However, the use of biogas (or better, its CH4-fraction) as a feedstock for the synthesis of renewable chemicals could possibly be a more valuable strategy. A variety of different concepts can be considered, such as (i) microbial or chemical conversion to methanol or formaldehyde, (ii) the oxidative conversion to ethane or ethene, (iii) the direct (catalytic) conversion to benzene, toluene or naphthalene using zeolites. Indirect conversion to renewable chemicals can also be employed: this includes reforming to syngas, from which a alkanes and solvents can be produced via the Fisher-Tropsch reaction. Alternatively, methyl-tert-butyl ether, dimethyl ether, methyl esters can be formed via methanol as intermediate.


Obviously, the production cost of these renewable chemicals will be the determining factor for the eventual market implementation of these molecules. This cost will depend on a.o. the cost of the digester feed, and the purification of the produced biogas prior to further conversion and the cost associated to the price of natural gas. Nevertheless, if biogas (or biomethane) can be sold as a valuable feedstock for the chemical industry, it will have a huge impact on the economic balance and profitability of full-scale digesters.