In collaboration with the SFOE, the Swiss Federal Energy Research Commission (CORE) formulates the federal government's energy research concept for each 4-year period. Based on this, a detailed concept is prepared for each programme, and each of these concepts have to be approved by CORE as a planning and working tool for managing the programme concerned during each 4-year period.
The following main objectives have been defined that are to be supported by the Process Engineering research programme:
- Definition of methods, tools and technologies for increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions
- Integration of renewable energy
- Utilisation of previously unused waste heat
Based on these programme goals, and taking special account of the network of the Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW) with its more than 1,500 companies that have entered into a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, the following research priorities have been defined:
- More efficient heat transfer technologies
To render waste heat in soiled surroundings utilisable with the aid of anti-soiling heat exchanger surfaces, especially through the use of nano-technologies.
- More cost-effective process integration
Pinch method: development of "pinch light" for small and medium-sized companies and standard solutions.
- Energy efficiency in thermal process technology
Formulation of basic principles, identification of the best available technologies for the most important thermal processes, definition of principles and provision of decision-making tools for sustainable industrial production.
- Energy-efficient process technology with low CO2 emissions
Development and evaluation of advanced technologies for energy-intensive industrial production processes, definition and testing of CO2-free processes for the substitution of conventional thermal processes, especially drying and separation processes as integrated technologies.
- Process energy from waste heat and renewable energy sources
Promotion of the integration of alternative energy and process heat production systems into existing process chains, including for economical electricity production where possible, plus quality assurance through field tests and measurements, i.e. to ensure the provision of the necessary thermal output, as well as function, operation and maintenance.