Circular Economy Systems
The working group for circular economy systems analyzes and develops technical systems with regard to ecological and economic sustainability and recyclability. The focus is on process engineering and electrochemical systems, such as water electrolysis, hydrogen storage and conversion, batteries and power electronics. These systems are key technologies of the energy transition and thus of our future sustainable energy systems. Therefore, we address the important research question of how these systems can be built and operated in an ecologically and economically sustainable way on a gigawatt scale. Questions lie in resource efficiency, potential environmental impacts (e.g. CO2e balance), circularity (e.g. recycling) and costs (e.g. total cost of ownership, total cost of hydrogen). Methodologically, we follow a bottom-up approach, i.e. we first develop process engineering, electrochemical and thermodynamic process models. On this basis, life cycle analyses are developed in various dimensions: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA, Life Cycle Assessment ISO 14040/44), Exergy-based LCA, Life Cycle Costing (LCC), Circular Economy Potential Analysis. In the field of Circular Economy we deal with analysis and management of anthropogenic material flows and develop Design for Circularity, which considers material and manufacturing decisions as well as disassembly and recycling processes.