Season 3

Episodes 15 and 16 - Energy System in the Near Future - ft. Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth

Episode 14 Episodes list Episode 17

Today, Xiaoran and Bea talk to Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schüth, a director at the MPI für Kohlenforschung. His research group works on a variety of topics, among them electrochemistry and mechanochemical reactions.
Ferdi talks about the energy system of the future, stepping away from the fossils and focusing on renewables, and the role that hydrogen will play in the future energy infrastructure.
Ferdi explains the importance of technology to store and transport electricity produced through renewables in different parts of the world and describes the difficulties involved in moving liquid hydrogen. He also talks about the substantial CO2 footprint from the production of chemicals and about transforming the chemical industry to be sustainable, as well as making the hydrogen production green.
Ferdi talks about ammonia, what we need (or think we need) it for, how we produce it, ways that ammonia synthesis can be improved, and what an ideal ammonia decomposing plant would look like. He expands more about on the topic of hydrogen in the future of energy and discusses the ways we currently store hydrogen as well as how the seasonal storage problem can ultimately be solved. Ferdi also discusses the most efficient energy sources for different technologies, from cars to aviation, and explains the major downsides of nuclear energy: cost, waste, and proliferation of nuclear weapons.
He also talks about consulting the government on the questions of science policy and his opinion on where science should stay in relation to politics.
Learn more about Prof. Dr. Schüth’s lab and research here.

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