Successful conclusion of the 8th International Freiberg Conference in Cologne, Germany

Following the successful conclusion of the 2015 conference in Inner Mongolia, China, the International Freiberg Conference is once again back in Germany in 2016. From 12-16 June 2016, the Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering (IEC, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany) presented in collaboration with the Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal (Poland) the 8th International Freiberg Conference in Cologne – a location situated near the heart of the Rhenish lignite mining region in Germany. In view of the social and political debates about the future of coal which are taking place in Germany and around the world, this year’s conference provided an exciting platform to intensively discuss issues linked to the challenges and opportunities for coal in the global energy economy. Moreover, taking advantage of the location, a special focus of the conference was on technical tours to modern plants/facilities located in the region.

This exciting event brought together over 200 experts, specialists and researchers from 20 countries for four days of intensive discussion about innovative coal value chains and the wide range of thermo-conversion issues linked to coal conversion and syngas production. We have a very strong European presence this year, especially from Germany with over 110 participants from science, industry and politics. The biggest group of international participants comes from China, followed by Poland, USA and Russia.

The 8th International Freiberg Conference is very honoured to have Mr. Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry for the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia as its patron. The three plenary speakers namely Prof. Bernd Meyer (Institute director of IEC and Chairman of the Conference Organisation Committee), Mr. Garrelt Duin as well as Mr. Matthias Hartung (CEO Of RWE Generation SE and RWE Power AG) kicked off the conference with insightful presentations of R&D, political as well as industry perspectives relating to coal activities and utilisation in Germany, thus setting the stage for stimulating and interesting discussions for the rest of the conference period.

In addition to the scientific program which took place in Pullman Cologne Hotel, participants also had the opportunity to take part in technical tours to the Neurath Power Plant, Garzweiler Opencast Mine as well as the Niederaussem Power Plant and Coal Innovation Centre owned and operated by RWE. Additionally, they also had the chance to visit modern chemical complexes in the region such as INEOS, CHEMPARK Leverkusen as well as Lyondellbasell.

The conference organising committee would like to thank all participants, exhibitors, sponsors and supporters for their contribution to making the 2016 conference in Cologne, Germany, a success and a highly memorable event for everyone.