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The IfbM at the University of Münster is seeking to fill 3 research assistant positions (E13 TV-L) with 65% of the regular weekly working hours as soon as possible. The positions are initially limited to 3 years, but can be extended in the context of a doctorate. The full-time teaching commitment is 4 SWS.

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Researchers propose measures to optimise battery recycling

Eleven mines and 57 recycling plants fewer: economic and ecological potential for savings on material consumption for electromobility in Europe

The demand for electric vehicles which run on batteries is increasing worldwide. At the same time, resources of primary battery materials – i.e. those obtained from mining activities – are limited. Moreover, mining these resources is often damaging to the environment and involves precarious working conditions. As a result, recycling such materials to establish a circular economy is an important issue in politics, industry and academia – also against a background of becoming independent from imports of raw materials. A team with members from academia and from the automotive and battery industries, and headed by Prof. Stephan von Delft from the University of Münster, has now been looking into the question of what effects different strategies for achieving an efficient and sustainable circular economy with lithium, cobalt and nickel for electric vehicles will have on the demand for materials in Europe. They have determined the amounts of mining and recycling which will be necessary to enable a circular economy to be set up and maintained.

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Prof. Frank Tietze from the University of Cambridge visits Münster

We were delighted to welcome Prof. Frank Tietze, Professor of Innovation Engineering at the Institute for Manufacturing of the University of Cambridge. His visit enabled a valuable exchange on research and teaching, as well as the identification of synergies for further joint projects.
We would like to thank all collaborators from the Universities of Cambridge and Münster, as well as the Fraunhofer FFB, for the productive exchange and good cooperation. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership and seeing everyone again soon.

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Dr. Andreas Dombret dissertation award for Moritz Gutsch

Moritz Gutsch of the Institute for Business Chemistry received the Dr. Andreas Dombret award for his dissertation “Co-Assessment of Costs and Environmental lmpacts for Low and Negative Carbon Dioxide Technologies“. The award is given to a dissertation that combines theoretical knowledge with business practice in an outstanding way. In his work, Moritz Gutsch developed methods to assess costs, carbon footprints and other environmental impacts of lithium-ion batteries and direct air carbon capture systems. This represents a substantial contributions to the development of sustainable energy systems.

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Production Cost Trajectory of Hydrogen

Hydrogen's pivotal role as the future's energy cornerstone is undisputed, yet its widespread adoption hinges on overcoming cost barriers. In response, our comprehensive review meticulously analyzes 89 publications, distilling insights on hydrogen production costs from 2020 to 2050.

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Assessment of costs and environmental impacts for direct air carbon capture and storage system

The direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using direct air carbon capture systems is a rapidly growing and partly controversial part of climate protection. The costs and environmental impact of the technology play an important role. Against this background, our scientific work brings clarity. By developing a method for simultaneously assessing costs and environmental impact, it becomes possible to comprehensively evaluate the potential of direct air capture systems and guide technological development.

China is ahead of Europe and the US in using recycling to meet its needs for lithium, cobalt and nickel for batteries
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Study on battery recycling shows China is in 1st place

With the increase in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, demand is also rising for the necessary raw materials. In view of risks to the supply chain, environmental problems and precarious working conditions which are all associated with the mining and transportation of these materials, the recycling of battery materials has become an important issue in research, politics and industry. A team of researchers from academia and the automotive and battery industry, organised around the Business Chemistry Team at the University of Münster, has therefore been investigating when the demand for the three most important raw materials for batteries – lithium, cobalt and nickel – can be met entirely through recycling in Europe, the US and China; in other words, when a completely circular economy will be possible in these regions. The team’s conclusion is that China will achieve this first, followed by Europe and the US.

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New study on the combined assessment of costs and environmental impacts along the battery value chain

We would like to draw your attention to a paper recently published in the journal Applied Energy by our Institute in collaboration with the Helmholtz Institute Münster. The topic of the paper is the combined assessment of costs and environmental impacts along the value chain from material synthesis to recycling of lithium-ion batteries. We believe that this publication will be of interest to research and industry in the context of forthcoming EU legislation on the CO2 footprint and recycling rate of lithium-ion batteries.

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Our team at the ECS 2023-Conference in Gothenburg

From 8 to 12 October, a seven-member team from our institute travelled to Gothenburg, Sweden, together with Prof. Lux, to attend the 244th meeting of the Electrochemical Society (ECS). The conference brought together experts from all over the world working on various topics in electrochemistry and battery research. Many internationally renowned battery researchers shared their knowledge on the latest cutting-edge developments in electrochemistry, battery technology and energy conversion.

Four of our young scientists also had the opportunity to present their research projects to the assembled global scientific community. This was a remarkable opportunity for the researchers to receive valuable feedback from battery experts, as well as stimulating discussions.

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We are hiring new student workers!

At the IfbM of the University of Münster, several positions as Student Assistant (with Bachelor's degree) with 6 hrs/week (time allocation flexible) are available starting February 2024.

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Northwestern University in Münster

We had the pleasure to welcome the students from Northwestern University to our institute for business chemistry. It was great fun to introduce our research topics and to discuss fundamental sustainability issues together.
Looking forward to future exchanges! 

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Roland Berger visits the "Entrepreneurship & Start-up Management" PhD students' seminar

Last Wednesday evening, 24 May, we welcomed a team from the Munich head office of the global strategy consultancy Roland Berger. As part of our PhD student seminar "Entrepreneurship & Startup Management", our PhD students from the natural sciences were able to gain insights into the everyday work of a consultant and into the topics of entrepreneurship and business models in strategy consulting.

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Start-up impressions for the doctoral students in our "Entrepreneurship" seminar

In this year's PhD seminar by Prof. Leker, the PhD students were once again able to gain impressions on what it means to found a company - provided by real founders. The core message of the attending four start-ups was clear: Since start-ups in chemistry require high investments, it is advisable to rely on one's intuition and a good relationship with one's fund manager when it comes to financing. Another thing to remember: Get out there and tell people about your idea! And last but not least, you can also build a smart business out of ideas that were originally not quite so serious.

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IfbM at the International Battery Materials Association (IBA) 2023 meeting in Austin, Texas.

Represented by Prof. Dr. Simon Lux and PhD student Jannis Wesselkämper, IfbM participated in this year's IBA conference in March. In honor of Nobel Laureate John B. Goodenough, the conference was held at the University of Texas at his hometown Austin. Together with the IBA Board, IBA Board Chair Prof. Dr. Martin Winter from MEET welcomed numerous prominent guests in battery research, including Nobel Laureates Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. 

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IfbM in Brazil - Insights into Technology Transfer in Brazil

The two-week trip to Brazil by the Institute's management ended with numerous new impressions and insights into cooperation between industry and academia.
We took the opportunity to discuss research topics such as innovation and sustainability with partners from various institutions and to exchange ideas about the possibilities of knowledge transfer in the context of country-specific conditions.

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Mr. Patent Attorney Dipl.-Ing. Tarvenkorn visits the IfbM

On Thursday, September 01, Mr. Oliver Tarvenkorn, patent attorney and partner of Tarvenkorn & Wickord Patentanwälte PartG mbB, visited the IfbM to introduce the field of activity of a patent attorney to a mixed audience of natural scientists (chemistry, biochemistry, business chemistry and others).

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Enhancement in the team of professors at the Department of Business Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Simon Lux has taken up the professorship for Applied Electrochemical Energy Storage Technology and Business Chemistry on August 1, 2022. Together with him, Prof. Dr. Jens Leker and Junior Professor Dr. Stephan von Delft as well as the entire team of the Business Chemistry are looking forward to the upcoming time.

Guest lectures by Dr. Nils Dülfer on innovation management in the chemical industry

Twice we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Nils Dülfer, Managing Director of IMP³ROVE, the innovation unit of the global, American management consultancy Kearney, as a virtual speaker. Dr. Dülfer did us the honor on the one hand as a speaker in front of our master students of business chemistry on the 13th of May and on the other hand as a guest speaker in the context of the doctoral seminar "Innovation management in research-intensive industries" on the 25th of May 2022.


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On the 20th of May 2022 we were pleased to welcome Dr. Felix Schröder and Dr. Kai Künnemann from the global management and strategy consultancy Accenture to our institute. After a short introduction into the daily work routine in the consulting industry and the work at Accenture, the two strategists organised a workshop on the topic "Circular Economy - The Recycling of Polystyrene" with the students of business chemistry. In this fictitious case study, the students had to prove their skills as consultants for a waste management company. Finally, all results were presented and discussed in plenary.

We would like to thank Dr. Schröder and Dr. Künnemann for the exciting insights behind the scenes of the consulting company with over 600,000 employees and the both educational and fun workshop!

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On the 18th of May 2022, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Stephan Göttke, Chief Business Development Officer of BÜFA Holding, to our doctoral seminar on "Innovation Management in Research-Intensive Industries". Mr Göttke himself completed his doctorate in chemistry at the WWU about 20 years ago and, after a number of exciting stations in industrial and academic organisations, finally joined the medium-sized chemical company from Oldenburg in Lower Saxony in 2017. For the BÜFA Group, sustainability and innovative strength are of great relevance in its three business segments "Chemicals", "Cleaning" and "Composites", which is why Mr. Göttke gave the doctoral students practical insights into sustainability and innovation in the chemical industry in his lecture.

The agenda therefore included exciting topics such as the path of sustainability in the chemical industry, the integration of "Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)" in sustainability reporting or also sustainability in today's world, where both a reduction of the CO2 balance and bio-based chemicals as alternatives for oil- and gas-based substances would provide interesting starting points for a targeted climate neutrality, explained Dr. Göttke.

In order to achieve the climate goals, said Dr. Göttke, BÜFA always relies on innovative approaches in order to contribute to the sustainable transformation of the chemical industry by means of many partners in a strong network.

We thank Mr. Göttke for the inspiring insights into the business development of a medium-sized company in the chemical industry in family hands towards a sustainable innovative future and wish him and the BÜFA Group all the best for the future!

The 4th International Workshop on Innovation and Production Management in the Process Industries (IPM2022)

The 4th International Workshop on Innovation and Production Management in the Process Industries (IPM2022) took place at Industriepark Höchst from 12-13 May. Together with ZIN, the Department of NawiT and other partners, a forum was created for scientists and practitioners concerned with the transformation of the process industries to CO2 neutrality. 

Over two days, participants from five countries discussed the challenges of the transformation within the framework of the project Process4Sustainability: Cluster for a climate-neutral process industry in Hesse. Prof. Dr. Ludo Diels (SPIRE), Dr. Florian Ausfelder, Prof. Dr. Thomas Bayer, Prof. Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer and Angelique Terrien shared their expertise from research and practice. The workshop was rounded off by roundtable discussions on the topics of recycling, bioeconomy, sustainability management, digitalisation and energy transition.  

We would like to thank all speakers and participants and give all interested parties the opportunity to read the summary of the workshop here.


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Technological innovation vs. tightening raw material markets: falling battery costs put at risk

As an Institute of Business Administration at the department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, profitability analyses of current chemical technologies and trends are a core competence of the institute. Thus, it is evident that the battery team of the IfbM intensively deals with a cost-efficient design of the energy transition in order to make an essential contribution to a climate-friendly, economically relevant technology development. In this context, the cost reduction of battery materials is considered an important prerequisite for an economically viable transition to a climate-neutral society. Although market analysts are concerned about rising raw material prices, all forecast studies assume that battery costs will decrease in the future. The respective authors base their cost estimates on past material price trends rather than explicit technology roadmaps.
In this recently published study by researchers at the Institute of Business Management, both future material price expectations and cost reductions due to technological innovations are taken into account. Therefore, based on market expectations and expert knowledge, a roadmap for automotive battery technology and its production process until 2030 is defined. This roadmap is translated into annual cell costs using two engineering-based bottom-up material and process cost models, with a projected decrease from over $100 to about $70 kW h-1 in 2030 at current raw material prices. Simulations of analysts' price expectations for critical materials show that this decline could flatten significantly or, in the most pessimistic case, disappear altogether. A particularly high risk to cell costs is associated with nickel prices, and implications for research and industry to mitigate this risk are outlined.

The study was published in the March issue of the prestigious scientific journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is available online at the following link:

As part of their scientific publication, the research group was even awarded the cover of the Journal of Energy Advances, so that the IfbM can now proudly present its first cover in a chemistry context.