Research Department:
Closed Carbon Cycle Economy

In the long term, the problems associated with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions can only be solved if our entire social and economic system can be converted to largely closed carbon cycles - the atmosphere must not be polluted with large quantities of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases through the use of carbon, which is indispensable in parts. This concerns the way in which we generate electricity as well as the provision of process heat for industry, heating for buildings, energy for mobility requirements and last but not least the provision of carbon-containing raw materials for the (chemical) industry. Germany will only be able to maintain its role as a leading industrial nation if the transition to closed carbon cycles takes place without catastrophic breaks, and if at the same time it succeeds in developing solutions and technologies that can be transferred to other countries and exported accordingly. Ultimately, it is a question of solving global problems.

In discussions with colleagues from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) in Oberhausen, which is affiliated with the Ruhr University, the term Closed Carbon Cycle Economy has emerged. This will include technical and social aspects of the long-term conversion of electricity, heat, fuel and (chemical) raw material supply to closed carbon cycles beyond the usual, mostly one-sided technology-driven concepts. Such an approach involves a multitude of fundamental and application-oriented technical/scientific challenges, but also raises many questions in the humanities and social sciences.

As a comprehensive university with outstandingly proven and internationally networked scientists in the engineering, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, the Ruhr-Universität offers ideal conditions for dealing with all issues on the way to a Closed Carbon Cycle Economy. The term Closed Carbon Cycle Economy is understood as a generic term for the two fields of Closed Carbon Cycle Technology (i.e. the scientific/technical prerequisites for a transition to closed carbon cycles) and Closed Carbon Cycle Society (i.e. the social structures under which closed carbon cycles can be realised) that interact at many levels. Only by taking both aspects into account can viable economic concepts be realized that are a prerequisite for a successful transition.


Contact persons

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Roland Span
Institute of Thermo- and Fluiddynamics
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Ruhr University Bochum
44780 Bochum
Germany
Phone +49 (0)234 / 32-23033
Room IC 3/127
Email: Roland.Span@thermo.rub.de



Prof. Dr. Johann-Christian Pielow
Chair of Economic Law / Institute for Mining and Energy Law
Faculty of Economic Sciences

Ruhr University Bochum
44780 Bochum
Germany
Phone +49 (0)234 / 32-25723
Room GD 02/267
Email: Christian.Pielow@rub.de



Dr. Anna-Lena Schönauer
Chair of sociology, labour and economics
Faculty of Social Science

Ruhr University Bochum
44780 Bochum
Germany
Phone +49 (0)234 / 32-25421
Room GD 1/329
Email: Anna-Lena.Schoenauer@rub.de