Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-05-01 - 2022-04-30

The availability of large scale storage solutions is considered to be key for establishing the highly anticipated ‚energy change‘ and hence of central importance for policies, industry, research, and other branches in order to secure energy supply. Underground gas reservoirs offer enormous storage capacities for green hydrogen when compared to surface based storage solutions. The current project aims at the investigation of potentially occurring, hydrogen-driven metabolic reactions which can be catalyzed by microorganisms dwelling in natural gas reservoirs. Potential responses of the microbial community endogenous to formation water samples will be analysed with respect to hydrogen exposure. Adequate formation water samples will then be selected and used for high-pressure storage experiments with hydrogen admixtures mimicking realistic reservoir conditions.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-03-01 - 2025-02-28

Underground Sun Storage 2030 (USS 2030) represents a flagship project of FFG that is seeking solutions for large-scale seasonal storage of renewable energy. The primary objective of this project is the storage of renewably-generated, green hydrogen (H2) in high purity inside depleted natural gas reservoirs. When considering the envisaged expansion of renewable energy production throughout Europe, energy system models predict a significant excess of electricity in the grid during summertime. In contrast, limited solar irradiance and low water periods during wintertime will cause power shortages during the season. This gap cannot be closed by utilizing conventional fossil-fueled power plants and by electricity imports from neighboring countries as they will face similar challenges. Hence, innovative energy storage technologies with high capacity will be needed to shift multiple TWh of energy from summer to winter. In the framework of several precursor projects, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna along with RAG Austria AG elaborated a profound technical know-how to deliberately introduce H2 into underground gas reservoirs. Based on the gained insights, this project now reaches out to develop and demonstrate a feasible storage solution for pure hydrogen in porous gas storages. Furthermore, the effects of a massive hydrogen exposure on endogenous microbial communities and potential microbial responses will be investigated. In cooperation with renowned partners from industry and research institutions, various exploitation paths will be assessed: • Admixture of H2 to the natural gas grid • Hydrogen utilization in the energy-intensive industry (pipeline-based) • Purification and reutilization of stored H2 (off-grid) The one-of-a-kind Underground Sun Storage 2030 project will provide findings on the seasonal storability of H2 in depleted porous gas storages on basis of both, large-scale field tests and laboratory experiments. A complementary techno-economic analysis will also be anticipated along a modelling incentive to evaluate potential future energy scenarios of this storage technology. This project is part of the Hydrogen Initiative Flagship Region Austria Power & Gas (WIVA P&G), which is funded by the Austrian climate and energy fund. The usage of subsurface gas storages for the purpose of H2 storage is part of the ”Long-term strategy 2050 - Austria“ corresponding to regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European parliament.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-06-01 - 2024-05-31

Given its resource intensity, the European Commission has identified the textiles sector as a priority for the Circular Economy. An important measure is the mandatory separate collection of discarded textiles as of 2025. Finding suitable outlets for these increasing volumes of collected textiles is a challenge. Currently its non-reusable fraction is mostly downcycled or incinerated, less than 1% of textile waste is recycled into new textile fibres. In the meantime, clothing brands set ambitious targets for the use of recycled fibres in their products. Unfortunately their quality as well as the price tag of current recycling processes are not aligned with market needs/demand. SCIRT aims to bridge this supply-demand gap by developing and demonstrating an entire textile-to-textile recycling system for post-consumer textiles. Starting from the demand side needs, SCIRT focuses on the recycling of natural and synthetic fibres, as well as fibre blends. This by involving all relevant players along the recycling value chain, from collector to retailer. By focusing on the recycling of textiles that are often downcycled today, value retention is improved throughout the value chain. Not only will the business case for individual actors be validated, also the overall system implications will be quantified from a financial, environmental and social life-cycle perspective. Besides the technological innovations required, SCIRT addresses enabling conditions and supporting measures facilitating the transition towards a circular system for apparel. A True Cost Model will be developed and an eco-modulated EPR system will be set up, aiming at increased value chain transparency. Special attention is given to this consumer perspective. A consumer behavioural flow intervention will be developed to impact their decision making on the purchase and disposal of textiles. Throughout the project, significant attention will be paid to stakeholder involvement and validation via an advisory board.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations