2nd Open lab session 

This year, the second open lab session is being held different days at the different nodes to match it with other dissemination events and attract higher number of people. At the middle of November, the open lab sessions at UEdin and UHOH were held. Regarding the even in UEdin, this started with a poster presentation by master and postgraduate students of the University of Edinburgh, while the main event consisted on  9 talks about current research at the UKBRC. Dr. Ondrej Masek introduced the Green Carbon network, followed by a talk about “Synergies in sequential biochar systems” by the ESR 14 Christian Wurzer. Besides the academic project presentations, “Carbogenics” – a start-up company originating in the research centre – presented their latest achievements to the audience. These talks were followed by an exhibition of the centre showcasing equipment as well as some experimental demonstrations for the interested public. With over 65 participants from different universities as well as an interested public, the event was a big success and highlights the importance of public outreach for contemporary science. A picture of the event is showed above.

Regarding the Open lab day at University of Hohenheim, this took place at 17th November 2018 from 14 h to 17 h. The event was focused on the conversion of biomass residues to produce carbon materials, which are applied to e-mobility as electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors.  Three lectures to explain this concept. were given: Dr. agr. Lewandoswski explained the e-mobility in the context of the bioeconomy while Dr. Rodriguez and Ms.C Hoffmann gave both a lecture about the conversion of the biomass to the carbon materials, such supercapacitors. The last one was given by Dr. Böse who spoke about the process from activated carbon materials to automobile application. A poster session was also organized with the aim to show the research and  progress of the ESRs. Through these posters, the attendees could  learn about the methodology of the conversion and the products obtained: ESR 5 showed the production of Organoslv lignin from beech wood and the application of the hydrothermal carbonization process to produce carbon materials while the ESRs 6 and  7 showed on their posters the conversion of initial biomass residues to carbon materials and the different products obtained from hydrothermal carbonization and pyrolysis. A picture of the event is showed below:

The second open lab session at Aston took place at EBRI seminar room on 22nd November 2018. The event was previously advertised on social media from organisers (Filipe Rego, Dr. Katie Chong, Dr. Jiawei Wang and Jorge López-Ordovás) and e-mailed to societies in Aston, especially the ones from chemical engineering and the lecturers advertised it on the different courses. The attendees were mainly students at different levels, from undergraduates up to PhD students. After an introduction given by Dr. Katie Chong about the GreenCarbon project and the importance of the project, Filipe Rego spoke aobut the pyrolysis process and explained the experimental work he is actually developing . After Filipe’s presentation, Jorge showed the different technologies used in the industry to perform slow pyrolysis. Once all the talks finished, all the attendees had the opportunity to visit their lab where Filipe could show his reactor and explain the feeding method and the post-treatment methods used at lab-scale. After that, all the students could see the basement of the gasification plant where there is a transparent screw reactor, to see what is happening inside the reactor they had previously seen in the laboratory. Once everybody were back to the Seminar room, Dr. Jiawei Wang gave the final remarks and highlighted the importance of the research that this group is carrying out at this university within the GreenCarbon project. Below it is showed the poster designed to advertise this event:



The open lab session at Qmul, which was hold the 5th December, started at 10am in Titirici´s lab. The two ESRs from Qmul involved in GreenCarbon project, ESR 11 and 9 (Pierpaolo Modugno and Sabina Nicolae) started the session introducing the aims and methods of their research to all the
attendees. First, ESR 11 started explaining the need of a new renewable source of energy that could replace fossil fuels while he showed different sources of biomass to the attendees. After that, he explained the HTC process followed by example of hydrochar and aqueous phase. Then, ESR 9 presented some different ways of analysing hydrochar, such as gas adsorption, among others. Finally, both ESRs presented how they aim to use the carbon for gas storage and separation and how the chemicals are identified in the liquid phase. Finally, the tour ended with a display of some posters from their research group to highlight the many possible ways to
employ both hydrochar and liquid phase resulted from HTC. A picture of the event is showed below:

On the 12th of December 2018, the Open Lab session at Stockholm University, organized by the ESRs 8 and 12 (Xia Wang and Anthony Szego) was held. The session had been advertised through the university by public display of posters as well as personal invitations to students and members of staff within the university. After an initial meet and greet, ESR 8 presented the big scope of what the Green Carbon focuses on and then gave a briefly explanation about their research. During this time, fliers with representative pictures and information were distributed to the audience and all the equipment used in the research was also shown as a way of explaining what they are doing in the lab. After a brief time for questions from the audience, both ESRs proceeded to take the interested participants into the lab and explain in more detail what they are doing within their PhD projects. They also used this time to answer all the relevant questions that could arise. A picture of the event is shown below:

Picture by Niklas Björling (Stockholm University)

Regarding the event organized at UNIZAR, this was integrated among the activities organized by the university to attract future students of engineering. Therefore, the attendees to this event were mainly secondary school students and teachers. In this case, the open lab session was divided in two sessions, in different days, the 18th and 19th December. Both sessions were very similar: firstly Dr. Joan Manyà, PI at UNIZAR, started with a short introduction of the GreenCarbon project to follow with a presentation by the two ESRs hosted by UNIZAR, ESR 1 (Gianluca Greco) and ESR 10 (Christian Di Stasi). The two ESRs interacted with each other and with the help of a video and a power point presentation, explained to all the attendees the main objectives of GreenCarbon, the aim of their PhDs and their role within the project. Then, both ESRs showed the reactors and the pilot plants they are using and explained very briefly how they develop their experiments with them. Both days, some of the students showed a big interest on the topic as it was reflected by the several questions they made to the ESRs, mainly related to the equipment and pilot plants available in the lab. Once all the curiosities and questions were sorted out, the session was finished and the students continued with the different activities they had programmed for the rest of the day. A picture of the event is shown below:

Finally, the open lab session at UGent was hold the 18th December and it consisted of two seminar sessions and a lab tour around the Thermochemical Conversion Group (TCCB) Laboratory. The first presentations were given by the two ESRs based at this university, ESR 4 (Przemyslaw Maziarka) and ESR 13 (Dilani Rathnayake) who focused their talks on general topics of biomass conversion, introduction to the GreenCarbon Project and to the TCCB group. Both talks ended with a Q&A session. After the first seminar, during the coffee break, the attendees (mainly students) had the opportunity to discuss and ask questions to the speakers. After this break, the second part of the seminar was more related to the conversion of the biomass to platform chemicals and the role of the biochar in soil environment and its application in agriculture. This event was also a great opportunity to invite two special speakers, Prof. Walter Prins from BTG Biomass Technology Group BV and Dr. Carsten Zetzl from TUHH who gave very interesting talks for all the audience. Once the talks finished, the attendees were invited to a Lab Tour around the Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass Group Laboratory. During the tour, the two ESRs showed the attendees the pyrolysis reactors available in the laboratory and explained how they work. This open lab session finished with some final remarks. Below, a picture of the event: