10/04/2011 | Editor: Dominik Stephan
But also manufacturers of bulk chemicals and low-value commodities could profit from biotechnology, as Dr. Günter Wich, Wacker Chemie, explained. The participants agree that the petrochemistry will, at least partially, move to locations that provide chemical parks directly at the well-head, like the planned Al-Jubail chemical park in Saudi-Arabia. Al-Jubail shall, once completed, contribute 10 percent of the world's output of chemicals.
Nevertheless, Dr. Friedrich Seitz of BASF stated that biotechnological processes also have to prove their economic, ecologic, and social viability. As Seitz said, "Bio" would not be equal "sustainable". Also Prof. Phillipe Tanguy, Vice President of Total's Scientific Development Division, stated that the availability of relatively cheap oil could undermine the efforts towards a bio-future: "There is simply no need," Tanguy explaiend. "The only thing I can think of are regulations." Energy efficiency and energy generation were other important topics in the engineering sessions.
Besides the joint issues other important topics where discussed. In his opening speech, Dr. Helge Braun, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, said that with the energy turnaround, a development has been set off politically that now needs to be supported by technology. In contrast to TV shows, scientists and engineers were the true talents that advanced Germany. As a consequence, the ECCE featured several aspects of programme for students and young engineers and researchers, such as the Chemcar contest or a university brewing competition.
Big players like BASF, Lanxess, or Saudi Amroco presented themselves as possible employees for future young professionals.
The successful concept of combining biotechnology and chemical engineering shall be continued in the future, the organisers said. Together with the 9th European Congress of Chemical Engineering, the 2nd European Congress of Applied Biotechnology will be held in The Hague in 2013.
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