Electrochemistry and Decarbonization Strategies
Wolfgang Kautek
Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria

Electrochemistry has the potential to play a crucial role in Decarbonization Strategies. They are urgently needed for climate protection to effectively lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Only system-wide CO2 savings are really useful. The Central European countries have a special role to play in the development of sustainable mobility, as they not only serve the domestic market, but as global export nations they also influence developments in numerous countries. Particular attention is paid not only to technological development, but also to the restructuring of the mobility system as a whole. This includes not only the propulsion technologies of vehicles, but also their production technologies, the provision of energy and usage patterns. Germany, for example, with a contribution of approx. 2% greenhouse gas emissions, is relying entirely on the technology of electric mobility through battery vehicles (BEV) and possibly fuel cell vehicles with hydrogen as the energy carrier. The benefit for CO2 reduction is defined by regulatory measures and not according to the actual system-wide CO2 reduction. In contrast, other much larger CO2 emitters such as China, with a greenhouse gas contribution of more than 26%, have opted for a strategy that is open to technology, in which all forms of propulsion compete with each other with their actual emission factors in a points system. In this global strategy competition, a core issue is the generation of electricity from renewable sources. With hydrogen technology in contrast to a puristic accumulator technology, e.g., all other GHG emission sectors can benefit, such as the steel and building materials industries. Synthetic fuels based on the CO2 conversion by H2 (e-fuels) could provide a sustainable solution to the CO2 problem particularly for aircraft, rail and long-distance transport besides the "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)". The workshop “Electrochemistry and Decarbonization Strategies” will tackle such issues by gathering electrochemistry and catalyst experts in vivid scientific exchange and discussions.