Closing Resources Cycles and Introducing Circular Economy in the context of Climate Change

Title:Closing Resources Cycles and Introducing Circular Economy in the context of Climate Change

Reporter:Prof. Anastasia Zabaniotou

                   Biomass Group leader, Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Time:July 4th  15:00

Place:Lecture Hall, Department of Thermal Engineering 

Abstract:In order to develop a bio-based economy, with all its related opportunities for growth and employment, holistic and sustainable approaches are needed including a greatly improved material and energetic utilization of biomass and wastes. Renewable energy could play a basic role to meet present energy demands and mitigate global warming. Agricultural biomass represents an attractive and suitable feedstock for energy conversion, particularly in rural areas and can also play a fundamental role in preserving or improving soil quality. Carbon sequestration and soil quality improvement coupled with bio-energy generation are important issues to be addressed and properly face the mitigation of global climate change. Therefore, a trade-off between atmospheric CO2 sequestration into long-persistent soil carbon pools and the development of carbon-neutral fuel sources should be achieved. Biomass thermochemical conversion processes have several advantages over other methods, in terms of feedstock flexibility and energy co-products diversification. Particularly in rural areas, decentralized energy systems operating at small scale, fuelled with processing wastes and locally available residues can combine heat and power generation (CHP units). The development of small scale sustainable symbiotic thermochemical-based systems fuelled with residues and wastes are analysed here. Several paradigms are depicted related to closings loops, closing bio-resource efficiency in order to find a win–win solution. Pyrolysis and gasification pilot plants fuelled with residues and wastes designed and constructed by AUTh group and funded by EU will be also presented.

Keywords:Closing Resources Cycles, Circular Economy, thermochemical-based systems, residues, wastes

Short CV:Anastasia Zabaniotou is Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Dr. Zabaniotou holds a Ph.D. and a DEA from Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures de Paris, France. She has been working for 5 years in the European Commission of EU in DG research in R&D policy. Since then until now, she is working with the EC as a free-lance expert. She is member of the Board of the Centre for Sustainable Development of the Aristotle University, member of International Relations Committee of the Engineering School as well as of the Aristotle University (AUTh) International Collaboration Committee. She is AUTh’s coordinator of T.I.M.E (Network of the Top Engineering Schools for Top Managers in Europe, coordinated by Ecole central de Paris) and vice president of RMEI (Network of Mediterranean Engineering Schools working on Sustainable Development, coordinated by Ecole Centrale de Marseille. She is founder member of the AUTH’s Center for Environment, Technology and Gender issues. She is interested in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and education. She is also involved in activities concerning science and society, international engineering education and mobility. Prof.  Zabaniotou is active in Circular Economy concepts, with focus on thermo-chemical conversion of biomass, residues and waste to energy, biofuels, and materials production in the zero-waste bioerefinery concept and biochar in closing the loop in agriculture concept.  She has been involved in a number of national and international applied research and innovation projects and her group awarded for the innovation in research. She is author and co-author of 100 papers in international journals and 200 conference presentations. She has been invited in several conferences as keynote speaker, organized several conferences, workshops and events and awarded for innovation in research.