Climate research at The Faculty of Engineering
Climate challenges and solutions
The global climate challenges are primarily linked to global warming caused by CO2 emissions from energy production based on fossil sources such as oil, coal and gas. Other CO2 sources are the chemical industry, the use of liquid transport fuels and agricultural and food production, each of which contributes to a significant part of the global CO2 emissions.
In Denmark as in most EU countries, the majority of CO2 emissions come from land transport, buildings and building structures, energy production and agricultural and food production. In Denmark, the goal for 2030 is to achieve a 70% reduction compared to CO2 emissions in 1990. In December 2020, the EU has similarly set a reduction of 55% as the goal for 2030.
The reduction of greenhouse gases is sought through transformative changes, not just in a separate sector, but through changes in several sectors and with the use of a broad portfolio of technological solutions.
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Reduction of greenhouse gases
The Faculty of Engineering conducts research into a wide range of solutions, the common goal of which is mitigation of climate change linked to emissions of climate-damaging gases.
The research focuses on solutions that lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through increased use of renewable energy from solar and wind. Topics in this category are biogas, bioenergy, biorefineries, organic solar cells, climate-neutral transport, direct electrification of land transportatio, P2X and energy storage.
Research is being conducted into increased energy efficiency in buildings, food production and industry through the use of IoT, data and artificial intelligence. Research is being carried out, for example, into energy-efficient greenhouses, whose energy system is intelligently connected to the national energy infrastructure. Research is also being carried out into the efficient use, transport and storage of electrical energy from renewable energy sources. The research in, for example, energy-efficient industrial electronics contributes to a better utilization of the electrical energy from wind and solar.
Climate-friendly materials for building constructions
There is great potential in solutions that reduce the climate impact from building construction and production of building materials. Concrete as a building material constitutes a climate impact, which is why research into alternative design methods aimed at lighter concrete structures, research into alternative materials and recycling of materials all make important contributions to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Climate-friendly agriculture and production of food
The research includes climate-friendly production of food, reduction of the emission of climate-damaging gases from stables and other livestock, precision farming which, with increased use of data, is aiming at reduced use of fertilizers, automation and increased use of electric vehicles. The research also includes new pathways to climate-friendly food production, for example through fermentation technology for the production of healthy and tasty foods and food additives.
Adaptation to climate change
The faculty is also researching the mitigation of the harmful effects on society of the climate changes that may occur.
Climate adaptation research
The common goal of this type of research is climate adaptation. Research is being done, for example, into resilient and sustainable cities that are robust to the harmful effects of climate change, such as technical solutions in urban environments capable of handling more plentiful and frequent precipitation.
The solutions must be found in a completely new type of climate effort
Research into the interplay between different sectors is also becoming more and more relevant; solutions such as biogas production based on residuals and side-products from agricultural and food production contribute to reducing the use of fossil energy for both energy production and heavy industry. Similarly, the research is aimed at the societal challenges caused e.g. by the continued technological development of energy production from, for example, offshore wind, including a rapidly increasing need to be able to store energy from fluctuating energy sources.