Insight Insights: Geological CO2 storage as a climate protection option
A transdisciplinary approach! A transdisciplinary approach! When I recently used this term in a personal conversation, the immediate response I got was incomprehension. This is easy to understand, since a uniform definition and a clear differentiation from the term interdisciplinary approach does not exist at this time. Nonetheless: a transdisciplinary approach encompasses more than merging different scientific disciplines. It aims at the substantial involvement of users – most especially, if the research projects tackle societal issues.
Overview: Geosciences focus on mineral surfaces
Horizons – New GEOTECHNOLOGIEN projects and programs Nuclear processes on mineral surfaces and their technological applications On February 21, 2008, the second review meeting for applications within »Mineral Surfaces: From Nuclear Processes to Geotechnology« was held in Potsdam. From a total of 34 project sketches, sixteen research associations were called to submit full applications. The seven-members commission representing Germany, France and Austria recommended 13 projects for sponsoring. Close to eight million euro will be available to 18 research institutions and 13 enterprises over the next three years (see additional detailed report in this issue).
To date, the R&D-Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN has set standards in this segment and has brought this rather stiff term to life. The most recent example pertains to the research projects focusing on »mineral surfaces«. What this translates into is more evidence of the fact that societal needs, innovative thinking and geoscientific research drive each other. This issue of INSIGHT will give you just this – insights – into this new GEOTECHNOLOGIEN research field and numerous other topics. Sincerely, Ludwig Stroink
Quick look: Satellite missions show successful industry involvement
DFG focus program SAMPLE After successfully completing the research performed by the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN research alliances TIPTEQ and SUNDAARC at the active continental margins of South America and Indonesia, the DFG has now rolled out its focus program SAMPLE (South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution), which addresses the processes at passive continental margins. Over the next five years, approximately six million euro will be available for the research work to be performed at the continental margins of South Africa under the direction of the Institute for Geophysics at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich.
Outlook: New liaison office for innovative technologies
Research vessel »Sonne« at the continental margin of South Africa.
The latest GEOTECHNOLOGIEN figures more than 160 research alliances
partners from 45 universities, 31 research institutions and 61 corporations
more than EUR 120 million in support funds
Preliminary Round Table Meetings Meetings related to three key topics of the R&D program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN were held. On February 14, 2008 well over 30 scientists from 21 research institutions and enterprises met at the Max Planck Institute for Bio-Chemistry in Jena to develop an attractive R&D plan in reference to the topic »Natural Cycles of Carbon and Nitrogen«. Close to 40 representatives of universities and various industries met on May 23, 2008 at the
University of Stuttgart. The focal point was the development of ground breaking research fields aiming at the »high resolution depiction of the underground«. New methodical developments in these tomography processes open up highly innovative application options that extend beyond the traditional scopes of application for geophysical measuring methods. Examples include materials testing and civil engineering.
Uni Kiel LfNU Kiel
TU Hamburg AWI Bremerhaven
Earth from Space
FH Neubrandenburg DLR Neustrelitz
GeoZentrum Hannover* GRS Braunschweig HS Vechta
GFZ Potsdam AIP Potsdam
Uni Bochum Uniklinik FH Gelsenkirchen Essen
TU Cottbus UFZ Leipzig
FhG FH Oberhausen Südwestfalen
Uni Halle Wittenberg
FZ Jülich DLR Köln
Early Warning Systems
TU Berlin Uni Potsdam
FU Berlin ZALF Müncheberg
Unterground /CO2 Information Systems
A round table on the future perspectives of satellite gravimetrics in Germany was held on May 29, 2008 at the Bavarian Academy of Science and Humanities in Munich. The participation of German groups of scientists in the European small satellite mission GOCE will be fostered by sponsorship activities within the scope of the R&D Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN (please also read the guest report in this issue).
GEOMAR Kiel ttz Bremerhaven
Uni Bonn UNU Bonn
TU Freiberg Uni Jena
FGK Höhr Uni Frankfurt/M. DWD Offenbach
FhG Kaiserslautern EML Heidelberg * GeoZentrum: GGA, NLfB, BGR Hannover
TU Kaiserslautern Uni Karlsruhe FZ Karlsruhe
FHG Karlsruhe Uni Stuttgart
Uni BW München
Uni Tübingen TU München Uni Freiburg
Stand: Juli 2008
Nationwide presence in Germany: the research focal points of the R&D program GETOECHNOLOGIEN
Climate protection options – New projects aiming at the geological storage of CO2 The BMBF has assumed the responsibility for one of the major energy policy topics of the future: the geological storage of CO2. Now, two parallel sponsoring strands aim at determining the contributions this key technology can make in the reduction of anthropogenous CO2 emissions. All future activities will be performed within the framework of the R&D Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. Therefore, more than 45 million euro will be made available by the BMBF. The decision was made on the basis of the already existing commitments of the BMBF to this subject matter: between 2005 and 2008 nine research projects were supported within the scope of GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. These were the first activities pertaining to the underground storage of CO2 that were coordinated nationwide in Germany. The early involvement in innovative and visionary research topics at GEOTECHNOLOGIEN has once again proven effective and set yet another standard for the anticipatory research planning in GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. The public call for the submission of project proposals for the second phase was made in 2007. Experts from eight nations evaluated the submitted research alliances. From a total of 20 project proposals, 14 combined projects encompassing a sponsoring volume of 14 million euro were ultimately recommended. They were launched in mid 2008. Besides focusing on the selection and examination of potential storage options, they will in particular look into the development of reliable methods and technologies aiming at the permanent monitoring of appropriate sites. All activities are either restricted to laboratory experiments or are simulated in model scales. Nonetheless, conclusive results depend on the realitybased testing of the new technology in pilot and demonstration projects.
To this end, research projects will be developed in partnership with the industry in the second sponsoring phase. The industry partners will test the storage and safety technologies under realistic conditions on location. The first pilot project of this kind to be rolled out is the CLEAN alliance (CO2 Large Scale EGR in the Altmark Natural Gas Field). Under the direction of the German Research Center for Geosciences Potsdam, a group of 20 research institutions and corporations will render scientific support to the injection of 100,000 tons of CO2 into a natural gas field south of the town of Salzwedel. The CO2 is emitted by a coal fired pilot power plant currently under construction at the »Schwarze Pumpe« site of the power provider Vattenfall. The project will be the first ever that allows the depiction of the entire CCS process chain from emission via transportation to storage in pilot scale. Thanks to the establishment of this second pilot project (the first is CO2SINK at the Ketzin site), Germany has seized the role of a global leader in the development of CCS technology. Yet another pilot project – COAST (CO2 Aquifer Storage) – operated under the auspices of the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) aims at the development of the technological basis for the safe storage of CO2 in a saline aquifer. The key partner on the industry end for this project is German energy provider RWE-Dea. The start of the research alliance is scheduled for January 2009.
Million-fold enhanced – Geoscientific research focuses on mineral surfaces
The palette of issues that arise from these projects is diverse. One project analyzes, for instance, the interactions between iron compositions and contaminants in ground water with the objective of increasing the effectiveness of water filtration. Another project addresses the subject of calcite minerals: the intention is to use same in combination with special proteins to create bone prostheses. Yet another research group aims at utili-
zing mineral surfaces to bind certain enzymes to prevent the growth of bio films on the surfaces of, for instance, ceramics. Or: one project targets the specific manipulation of the reaction processes on clay mineral surfaces with the objective of optimizing the quality of ceramic products. All of these examples reveal in how many ways minerals and mineral surfaces affect our everyday lives.
From the very start, the R&D Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN has demanded and fostered an interdisciplinary approach. To this end, it is clearly evident that neighboring disciplines do profit from each other substantially and that new points of views and methods translate into considerable gains for the respective partners involved. In the research world of »Mineral Surfaces: From Nuclear Processes to Geotechnology« geoscientists find themselves working side by side with biologists, chemists and physicists, as well as medical professionals or agricultural land use experts. Yet the interdisciplinary approach is not the only factor that makes this new focal point interesting: next to the intensively committed industrial partners, two academic junior research groups are supported by the BMBF. Numerous processes in which minerals play a key role still lack detailed understanding today. This is what these new projects are about: they analyze the physically, chemically and biologically relevant properties of minerals in terms of their potential uses. This approach literally challenges the industry to get involved.
This is the first time that the new tool of young talent promotion is applied: a group of scientists working with Göttingen-based geologist Cornelius Fischer is intent on examining the interchanging processes between mineral surfaces and colloids in the sub-microscopic scale. While the work is currently highly elementary, it could later be applied to drinking water quality projects. Kilian Pollok of the Bavarian Geo-Institute in Bayreuth is leading his team of young talents in a project examining the dissolution and decomposition patterns of sulfide minerals with the objective of quantifying the release and mobility of highly toxic metals, such as arsenic or cadmium, from natural sources and landfills.
Geotechmarket – The utilization platform for innovative geoscientific technologies, processes and services Innovations and their rapid implementation make Germany a stronghold of innovative development and sustains its international competitiveness. Nevertheless, government sponsored research findings are still not being sufficiently implemented into new technologies, processes and services. This is one of the central challenges addressed by the current debate pertaining to Germany’s innovative dynamics. Earth system research is one of the disciplines neither the public nor the majority of businesses recognize as a source of innovation. Geoscience research centers and universities possess excellent scientific and technological infrastructures and employ a host of hard-working and highly motivated scientists. Some corporations do utilize this infrastructure in
some disciplines. The potential capacities far exceed the traditional application range of geosciences: they span the entire spectrum from geoinformation technology to the construction of equipment to medical technology. The special program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN has launched its liaison platform Geotechmarket to intensify the technology and knowledge transfer between research and industry. The goals are to foster the interaction within the geoscientific institutions nationwide, to provide scientific contacts for business inquiries and to initiate transfer projects between research institutions and enterprises. The initiative focuses on the first phases of the transfer process, i.e. the recognition of innovative technologies with high application potential that can be utilized by the business world as well as on the provision of individual consultations and marketing support for geoscientists. A model was developed to render con-
crete implementation support for new technologies. It is divided into different stages: innovation scouting, innovation workshops, market research, matching interviews and transfer projects. Initial success has already been achieved. Several technologies for business utilization have been identified and the systematic search for technology customers has begun. Geotechmarket is being operated with the needs of the geoscientists in their efforts of marketing innovative technologies in mind. Your contact at Geotechmarket is Werner Dransch. (email@example.com, Tel. +49-(0)331 / 62014-850)
Future gravitational field satellite missions – exemplary industry participation Guest report: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Müller, Leibniz University Hanover
geographic and time-based recording of mass variations in the Earth system. This is a new challenge for the German industry. Innovative sensor solutions and systems that were originally developed for fundamental space physics issues in industrial laboratories are now paving the way for a new generation of gravimetrics-based satellite measuring systems. In the ground breaking technology sectors mentioned above, Germany has made substantial headway in the optical segments, in frequency-combs, microwave and laser links and in quantum gravimetrics. The potentials of uses for satellite constellations and configurations (including mini and micro satellites) as well as of microwave and optical links between satellite systems will have to be weighted and further developed – with the objective of attaining denser spatial time records and greater precision in geo-processes and a separation between cross-over effects. The attainment of these goals is contingent upon the close cooperation of science and industry. Solid contacts have already been established. The industry partners have recognized an enormous market potential, in parti-
cular if the systems that were originally developed specifically for research matters can now be used for earth system surveillance tasks and applications in neighboring fields.
Satellite mission GRACE was the first that allowed the determination of the mass variations of the Earth system. This pertains to the global hydrological cycle, to the melting of the polar ice caps and to the mass balancing on the interior of the earth. Such series measurements and their optimum utilization are of critical importance for »Global Change« research. Thanks to the successful gravitational field missions CHAMP and GRACE, which were supported, among others, by the R&D Program GETOECHNOLOGIEN, both German researchers and German businesses have attained an international top ranking in the discipline of Earth surveillance via satellite. The technological developments achieved in conjunction with CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE have put the German aerospace industry into an excellent position for the development of future Earth science missions and for the further development of satellite housings. The three satellites used in the magnetic field mission SWARM, for instance, were based upon the CHAMP/ GRACE concept. The objective at hand now is to take the next step, i.e. to boost the precision of the satellite measurements and the fine-tuning of the
The gradiometer of gravitational field satellite mission GOCE, intended to launch in September 2008. SYDERAL
08/6 – 08/14/2008 GEOTECHNOLOGIEN at GEOEXPO 2008 and the 33rd IGCCongress in Oslo, Norway. 09/14 – 09/17/2008 GEOTECHNOLOGIEN at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft in Berlin 09/23 – 09/25/2008 GEOTECHNOLOGIEN at the 5th BMBF Forum for Sustainability in Berlin
09/29 – 10/02/2008 GEOTECHNOLOGIEN at the Annual meeting of the Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft in Aachen
10/13 – 10/14/2008 Kick Off Meeting »Mineral Surfaces« in Munich
10/08 – 10/09/2008 Status Seminar »Early Warning Systems« in Osnabrück
10/20 – 10/21/2008 Kick Off Meeting and Status Seminar »Geological Storage of CO2« in Stuttgart For additional dates please visit the website of GEOTECHNOLOGIEN and go to keyword »Dates«
Restless Earth The traveling exhibition »Unruhige Erde (Restless Earth)« will be extended thanks to its amazing success – it has seen more than 300,000 visitors since September 2006. It will be showing in Dresden as of July 11 and in Karlsruhe from October 22 on. The tour will end with a guest exhibit in Rostock, intended to begin in May 2009.
SCIENCE REPORT SR10 »Early Warning Systems in Earth Management« and SR11 »Observation of the System Earth from Space« can be ordered from the coordination office of GEOTECHNOLOGIEN.
ELEMENTS The exhibition »ELEMENTS« featuring photographs taken by volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft drew visitors in droves to Krefeld. The traveling exhibition, organized by the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN coordination office in partnership with the VULCANIA Museum in France will now make guest appearances in Bad Dürrenberg and Chemnitz. IMAGE BROCHURE If you would like to get an overview of the research focus and activities of the R&D Program, we recommend to order the newly published image brochure. The folder, which features 17 informative maps, can be ordered from our coordination office.
Editorials: GEOTECHNOLOGIEN coordination office, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany, Tel. +49 (0)331 62 014 800, www.GEOTECHNOLOGIEN.de The research and development program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is sponsored by the Federal Ministery of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). Cover photo: Global distribution of CO2 measured by Envisat. Issue: July 2008
Excellenscluster »Ozean der Zukunft«/Kunz
Who is Who – With this issue we would like to introduce a group of young scientists who have delivered outstanding work in Geosciences within the R&D Program
Prof. Dr. Tina Treude
Dr. Martin Blumenberg
Dr.-Ing. Henryk Dobslaw
Dr. Michael Kühn
She may very well have set off on one of the
A genuine »lad from Hamburg«, the ocean
The oceans and the stars – both are key ele-
Hanover, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Hamburg,
fastest career tracks in science: right after
runs through Martin Blumenberg’s veins. After
ments in the research life of Henryk Dob-
Perth, Aachen and finally Potsdam – those
she received her diploma she completed her
obtaining his graduate degree in geology in
slaw. Even his thesis focused on the utilizati-
are the venues that have turned the gradua-
doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for
Hamburg, Blumenberg initially dedicated his
on of geo-data satellite measurements in the
ted chemist and doctor of geochemistry Dr.
Marine Microbiology to subsequently assu-
time to the research and utilization of mariti-
surveillance of large scale streaming systems
Michael Kühn into a globetrotter on behalf
me a position as a DFG Research Fellow at
me sponges (BMBF-Projekt BOSMAN I and II),
in the world’s oceans. The work he perfor-
of geosciences. While Kühn focused on the
the University of Southern California, USA.
which were also the subject matter of his 2003
med within the framework of the R&D-Pro-
chemical process research related to the
Since 2007, Tina Treude has been holding
gram GEOTECHNOLOGIEN, which aimed at
geo-thermal utilization of the underground
the position of Junior Professor at the IFM-
After that, Martin Blumenberg was involved in
the utilization of ocean´s model data for the
during his initial stints, his main interest
GEOMAR, where she is assigned to the
the research of gas hydrates and other me-
correction and interpretation of satellite ob-
today is dedicated to the geological storage
»Future Ocean« research cluster and to two
thane sources in the oceans. His work in the
servations in the time variable gravitational
of CO2. Both are relevant topics for our
special DFG research departments. As a par-
field of the earth, won international acclaim.
society and communities today. In recogniti-
ticipant within the projects MUMM and
and METRO, which focused on the anaerobic
Thanks to the high quality and the level of
on of his efforts, the Geo Union Alfred-We-
MUMM II Tina Treude examined gas hydra-
methane oxidation in oceanic sediments are
originality of his research work, the DFG
gener-Stiftung presented the Karl Heinrich
te containing sediments in oceans for
and have been critical in the analysis of today’s
honored Henryk Dobslaw with the Bernd
Heitfeld Award for Applied Geosciences to
methane eating microbes.
and former times climate history. In appre-
Rendel Award for Geosciences in 2007. To-
Michael Kühn in 2007. The work Kühn per-
Today, at the IFM-GEOMAR, her focus is on
ciation the DFG honored him with the Albert
day he is a scientific associate at the Techni-
formed within the scope of the R&D-
the interactions between environmental
Maucher Award for Geosciences in 2007.
cal University of Dresden and a guest scien-
Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN with a focus
changes and bio-geo-chemical systems in
These days, Blumenberg is in the process of
tist at the Section Earth System Modeling at
on »Investigation, Use and Protection of the
researching the microbiological life and its
the GFZ in Potsdam.
Underground« was largely responsible for
impact on the recent and fossil carbon cycle of
this achievement. In this context, Kühn coor-
the oceans at the Institute for Bio-Geo-Che-
dinated the alliance project CO2TRAP and is
mistry and Oceanic Chemistry in Hamburg.
currently involved in the EU project CO2SINK.
Geo-knowledge for everyone – Web duo www.GEOTECHNOLOGIEN.de and www.planeterde.de provides information on the latest in geo-research The Internet is increasingly establishing itself as a source of information and an entertainment medium. To allow a broad audience a suitable entry level access to geosciences, the R&D-Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is collaborating closely with the online portal »planeterde«. The site presents reports on the latest research and on general geoscientific topics. In addition to the institution’s own web portal www.GEOTECHNOLOGIEN.de, which was designed specifically as a reference for scientists and decision makers in industry and politics, www.planeterde.de provides the interested public with insights and information pertaining to geosciences. »planeterde« does not only offer text copy and photo formats, it also presents video reports on topics such as the Antarctica or the Deep Sea, on dinosaur tracks and monster waves. All of this material presents the many facets of the Earth in moving pictures. Excursion reports from around the globe, the latest
research findings and portraits of outstanding personalities as well as expert interviews on topical issues make the diverse and enthralling world of geo-research come alive. Not only do these sites zoom in on technology and theoretical knowledge, but also on the scientists themselves and their everyday lives. We invite you to visit the websites www.geotechnologien.de and www.planeterde.de. See first hand how interesting the research topics that make up the R&D Program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN truly are.
GEOTECHNOLOGIEN interview with … Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Fischer of the RWTH Aachen on project BioMin and his take on the collaboration of research and businesses.
Definitely. Especially in the bio material research segment the targeted solution of today’s highly complex issues is absolutely contingent upon the collaboration of interdisciplinary teams of experts, consisting of competent medical professionals, bio scientists and engineers. Such interdisciplinary alliances can give science totally new impulses – for medical and non-medical research segments.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Fischer knows all there is to know about Research and Development (R&D). In his role as a Technical Manager at Procter & Gamble‘s R&D he became intimately familiar with the standards corporations expect scientific work to meet. As the head of business development at the competency center for bio materials he has gained insights into the scientific transfer requirements. And as the team leader of »Bio Ceramics and Medical Technology Materials« at the faculty for ceramics and fire retardant materials at the Institute for Mining Research at RWTH Aachen he is now working for the science-part in R&D. Prof. Fischer, you are at the helm of the project comprising partners representing the disciplines of geosciences, material sciences, chemistry and physics, as well as biology and medicine. In your opinion, what are the challenges that arise in the coordination of such an interdisciplinary alliance? Being the recipient of a stipend from the German Research Association in the early nineties at the graduate college for »Bio Materials«, I had the opportunity to learn early-on that the key to success in bio material research lies in interdisciplinary thinking and action. The assignment of coordinating the new project is precisely about the same thing. The participating engineers have to be able to understand how a chemist thinks. The scientists who are performing simulative calculations have to walk in the shoes of surgeons and look at issues from a clinical point of view. An alliance of partners representing geosciences and medicine is indeed rather unusual. Do you see even greater potential in this kind of cooperation as far as the development of innovative technologies and methods is concerned?
Science makes the gaining of insights its priority. Nonetheless, the voices that are eager to base their support of research more on market potential are getting louder all the time. What is your take on this stance? Innovation in the absence of market potential will not result in the creation of products that serve people and will consequently not boost the economic strength of a business or country. On the other hand, Germany and its European partners will not be able to maintain their positions in the global competition unless they develop constantly new, intelligent materials, processes and technologies. This in turn hinges entirely on making foundation-based progress in terms of insights. This means that fundamental research and market oriented development activities are ultimately totally interdependent. Consequently, Germany should foster both equally. The developments of recent years have shown that the cooperation between businesses and research is intensifying. What is your assessment of this development? This certainly depends largely on the specific research discipline. In the bio materials research segment we have built a comprehensive network linking us with clinical partners over the course of many years. We also have excellent contacts in the medical technology industry. The ultimate objective of our R&D ideas, after all, is to help the patient. This can only be achieved if a company can place a new medical product into the market at the end of the development chain. Projects such as BioMin do have a huge market potential. Do you think that the industry that reaps substantial benefits from the results of research should get more involved in science? In other government sponsored alliance projects with a stronger product oriented ap-
proach – e.g. in the BMWi program InnoNet, we were able to get up to seven industrial partners on board who joined our R&D concepts with enthusiasm and were integrated into the respective project. Businesses are indeed more reluctant to participate in the more foundation oriented programs. These would be excellent areas for especially larger corporations to show more commitment. For most smaller and medium sized companies it is of course much more difficult to support foundation oriented research and to make the required long-term commitment financially. To this end, a program such as GEOTECHNOLOGIEN, which specifically sponsors such ventures as well, does play a decisive role. BioMin is a rather unusual project. How did the very diverse project partners end up in this collaboration? We have already done some very successful work in another alliance project that lasted several years with one of the project partners Prof. Jennissen from Essen. We have also enjoyed a long-term trust-based cooperation with our trauma surgeon partner, private docent Dr. Müller-Mai from Bochum. The contact with our colleagues from Dresden, private docents Dr. Gemming and Prof. Seifert, was initiated specifically for this project. We were very fortunate to be able to bring these two experts on board, who are now working enthusiastically on the required molecular dynamic simulation calculations. Could you briefly describe the project idea for our readers? Bone prosthesis implants made from bioresorbing mineral materials are infused with bone growth stimulating proteins, which we call BMPs. The goal is to trigger the body’s ability to recreate new bones to heal defects and to eliminate the bone replacement material step by step. However, the precise sorption and desorption mechanisms of these BMPs on the mineral bone replacement material surface still remain a mystery for the most part. We aim to gain further insights into these mechanisms through an inter-scale concept that spans the range from numerical simulation of the processes to verification in clinical trials.