Similarly to last year, each node chose the most convenient date to organize their last open lab session to match it with dissemination activities and attract the attention of the maximum number of people. With the exception of the University of Hohenheim, the rest of the events have been organized between the months of November and December. The event at Hohenheim was held during the month of June as part of the “Stuttgarter Wissenschafts festival”and the topic presented was “Pommes, Plastik, Batterien – Was ist Bioökonomie und was kann sie leisten”. During the June 27th, it was presented the completely value chain from the residues after the production of chips from potatoes. This is the principle of bio-economy into agriculture-related biorefineries: the use of potatoes peels for the production of carbon materials, which can be used for applications such as supercapacitors that can contribute to further development of electromobility. The event organized at UHOH was focused on kids for introducing them to the science world. For understanding the process, it was prepared some games for kids and posters for the university’s attendants. Due to the event was placed at city center around 1000 persons came along the whole day. A picture of the event is showed above.
Regarding the Open lab day at University of UEdin, this was held on November 8th. The event started with introductory lectures from Prof. Stuart Haszeldine, Ondrej Masek and Saran Sohi about biochar and its diverse applications. Then, the research staff presented current research projects from the UK Biochar Research Centre with Christian Wurzer (ESR14) presenting his current work on the adsorption of pharmaceuticals and emerging contaminants on biochar. The Open Day also included a poster session consisting of 16 scientific posters about carbon sequestration projects leading to fruitful discussions between the participants. Several lab demonstration projects were exhibited to showcase actual examples from laboratory experiments to the interested audience. Especially, the demonstration of pyrolysis products from plastic and microplastic pyrolysis received great interest due to the ongoing public discussion on plastic pollution. Over 70 participants enjoyed the scientific talks and the already traditional charcoal biscuits afterwards. A picture of the event is showed below:
This year, the GreenCarbon OpenLab session at Aston University was organised in conjunction with the students from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The ESR 2 (Filipe Rego) and ESR 3 (Jorge López Ordovás) located at Aston University offered the facilities in EBRI to ESR 9 (Sabina Alexandra Nicolae) and ESR 11 (Pierpaolo Modugno). In this way, a joint event between both nodes would attract more attention to the public, and the topics would be of interest to more people.
The event was advertised with the title “Make Carbon Green Again”. The advert, attached below, was previously distributed across several e-mail lists, including postgraduate students, academic staff, research fellows from Aston and people working at EBRI. Recipients of the e-mail who had lectureship positions were encouraged to share the e-mail with their undergraduate students during lectures to increase the participation in the event. Indeed, the supervisors adverted the event several times during the weeks leading up to the session. The registration was done through a simple e-mail to one of the PhD students at Aston University to control the amount of people attending. A few days prior to the event, an agenda was distributed to the attendees.
The open lab session at Ugent, which was held on the 5th December, had a total duration of 3 hours and combined two seminar sessions with a lab tour of the Thermochemical Conversion Group (TCCB) Laboratory. The session started with a presentation developed by Prof. Ronsse who introduced the Green Carbon Project and the TCCB group. The following talk was given by Przemyslaw Maziarka (ESR 4), who explained the principles of the biomass conversion and biochar production. Additionally, he gave an overview of the possible applications of the biochar due to its useful properties. Finally, the last presentation of this first part of the seminar was given by Dilani Rathnayake Mudiyanselage (ESR 13) who gave an overview of the application of the biochar in agriculture and farming. All the talks ended with short Q&A sessions, given that the attendees would have more time to discuss during the coffee break. After the coffee break, the event continued with another seminar focused on more specific applications of biochar and its novel production methods. Reinhart Van Poucke from Ecochem group (environmental chemistry) started this session with a talk where he gave basics of the application of the biochar in the soil as the heave metal immobilisation agent. The presentation by Jonas De Smedt from the ABC Salt project was the last one of the day. This presentation was related to the possibility of the production of the lignin-based biochars through novel processing of the biomass in the molten salts. Once the seminar finished, the attendees were invited to a Lab Tour of the TCCB Laboratory. During the tour, the pyrolysis reactors, the feedstock and the pyrolysis products as well as new analytical instrument (TMR) were shown and explained by the ESRs and other members of the TCCB group. Also, during this visit to the TCCB group´s facilities, the attendees had the opportunity to ask all kind of curiosities to Prof. Ronsse´s group members. . A picture of the event is showed below:
The open lab session at Stockholm University, organised and presented by Xia Wang (ESR 8) and Anthony Szego (ESR 12), was held the 12th of December. The session was advertised through the university by public display of posters as well as personal invitations to students and members of staff within the university. In addition, the presentation of a poster showing off and explaining the research topics from the GreenCarbon project was made to coincide with a series of seminars done by a number of PhD students from different departments within the university. This was done in order to increase the visibility and dissemination of the project and all of the produced materials related with the project (such as the book, the conference, the different projects within the group and the web page). During the time slotted for posters in this seminar series, Anthony and Xia advertised the poster and went on to explain to all those interested what has been referred to above as well as answering all questions made by other students and also promoted the conference and book. At the end of the poster presentations, all interested people were welcomed to join in on a lab tour to show what and how their research is carried out. A picture of the event is shown below:
As it happened last year, the 3rd Open Day organized at UNIZAR 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. Also in this case, and given the high number of students, the open lab session was divided in two sessions, in different days, the 18th and 19th December. Both sessions were very similar: after a brief introduction by Prof. Joan Manyá about the project, Gianluca Greco (ESR 1) and Christian Di Stasi (ESR 10) gave short talks focused on the char concept and its potentiality, describing the wide range of applications which the char can be employed in. They also presented their current work on the optimization of the char properties during the slow pyrolysis process and the consequent activation of the chars, via physical or chemical activation. Then, the attendees were invited to visit the Biochar research group´s lab, where the ESRs showed the pilot plants used to carry out their experiments as well as the equipment for the analyse of the materials. To finish this event, the attendees had the opportunity to ask all the doubts or questions they had and get some flyers with all the information about the GreenCarbon project. A picture of the event is shown below: