Research Plans and Projects in Context of the Topics Biodiversity, Air Quality, and Acoustic Ambiente

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Chair of Thermal Process Engineering Gas and Liquid Phase Adsorption

The chair of Thermal Process Engineering had been re-organized in context of the fusion oft he univerities Duisburg and Essen in 2007. In ist reserach, it focuses on gas and liquid phase adsorption. The field of research ranges from characterization of adsorbents through adsorption thermodynamics and kinetics to industrial adsorption processes. Recent examples are the development of a novel apparatus for adsorbent characterization, processes for adsorptive cleaning of natural gas, adsorptive removal of inhalation anaesthetics from hospital waste air, generation of ultra-pure solvents by adsorptive removal of trace impurites, and the development of cryogenic adsorption processes. In addition, the chair deals with electrolyte thermodynamics which play a major role in absorptive separation processes to remove carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, chlorinated components, and mercury both from product and waste gas streams.

Topic 5 of the European Green Capital: Air Quality

Centre for Urban Epidemilogy, Insitute for Medial Informatics, Biology, and Epidemiology Traffic Noise and Depression Symptoms - Results from the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study

Research suggests that green environments can positively influence health through different mechanisms. Underlying mechanisms imply that green environments are more likely to be seen as esthetic contributing to satisfaction and well-being and facilitating social interaction. To gain a further insight into the complex relationship between the built and social environment and health, we investigated the association of residential surrounding greenness and self-rated health as well as mental health (depression). Furthermore, we aimed to explore the neighborhood environment (neighborhood satisfaction, perceived safety) and social relations (social satisfaction, neighborhood social capital) within this context. Therefore, we investigated the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study – a German based population Study – using data from 4,800 participants aged 45-75 years in Bochum, Essen and Mülheim/Ruhr.
Surrounding greenness was measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). So far we observed that NDVI was positively associated with neighborhood satisfaction and high neighborhood social capital. On the other side, poor self-rated health was negatively associated with neighborhood satisfaction and neighborhood social capital. Further, our results indicate that less surrounding greenness is associated with a higher risk for depressive symptoms. Overall, our results help to better understand the possible beneficial impact of the social and built environment on self-rated and mental health. However, the complex interrelations need to be further evaluated to enable health-promoting urban development strategies.

Topic 3 of the European Green Capital: Acoustic Ambiente

Centre for Urban Epidemilogy, Insitute for Medial Informatics, Biology, and Epidemiology Risk factors, evaluation of coronary calcium and lifestyle (Recall) across two generations of families living in the Ruhr urban area in Germany: the Heinz Nixdorf Recall and the Heinz Nixdorf Recall MultiGeneration Study

The Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) study is a population-based research study and since the year 2000, participants form the metropolitan Ruhr region (Essen, Bochum and Mülheim/Ruhr) returned continuously to the study center to assess health status und to determine the risk factor profile for coronary artery diseases. Additionally, environmental conditions like air pollution or the influence of built environment on health were assessed. For instance, analysis showed that long-term exposure to air pollution and night-time traffic noise are independently associated with atherosclerosis, the chronic disease that remains asymptomatic for decades and can lead to cardiovascular disorders such as stroke or heart attack. This long-term study includes about 4800 people.
Additionally, we hypothesize that clustering of lifestyle-related, social and environmental factors or social relationships are important factors in the emergence of atherosclerosis and subsequent events as well as other diseases. Therefore, the Heinz Nixdorf Recall MultiGeneration Study was designed with a unique clinical, psychosocial and environmental approach to create a broad and comprehensive knowledge base for research by recruiting children and spouses/partners of the original participants of the HNR Study. These family study began in 2013 and approximately 2900 people were assessed and interviewed in detail.

The research refers to topics 3, 5, 6,and 12 of the European Green Capital: Climate Change, Air Quality, Acoustic Ambiente, and Environmental Management

Faculty for Biology, Aquatic Ecosystem Reserach DNA-based Stream Evaluation

Vaso Elbrecht has co-developed the new method of DNA-based water evaluation at the UDE and is proud of the new possibility to practically apply this method: “It works like a barcode scanner at the supermarket, and we are even capable of evaluating the whole ‘shopping’ alltogether.” The effectiveness of the scanner proved itself in context of the testing of Finnish streams: In comparison to common water analysis methods, twice as much kinds could be detected. In the future, the number of detected kinds might even increase, Prof. Dr. Florian Leese adds: “This is the case, since the reference data bases, which are necessary for the classification and the comparison, are not yet completely filled.” The more precise the water evaluation, the better rivers and streams, which are used for drinking water, can be managed. The latest study proofs that the new method can be translated cost efficiently into practise while providing, in comparison to common kind typologisation, reliable results. Since the beginning of the year, Prof. Leese coordinates the European initiative DNAqua-net, which unifies scientists and practical partners from 43 countries, to introduce this method as large scale-standard.

Themes 4 and 8 of the European Green Capital: Biodiversity and Water Economy

Chair of Technical Chemistry Research in Context of Pollutant-free Emissions

Dr. Erwan Bertin produces materials, which are meant to make emissions harmless. Currently, Bertin is a guest of professor Dr. Stephan Barcikowski at the Technical Chemistry of the University of Duisburg-Essen. Until 2019, the guest professor will develop new katalysators, which do not use oil, nor do they emit carbon dioxide.

Topic 5 of the European Green Capital: Air Quality

Aquatic Microbiology Group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology (GAME)

As head of the research group Group for Aquatic Microbial Ecology (GAME) at the Aquatic Microbiology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, biologist Dr. Alexander Probst’s and his colleagues’ research focuses on biological recycling in 100 meters deepness and about how microorganisms behave in groundwater.

The research takes places in context of the fourth, seventh, and tenth topic of the European Green Capital: Biodiversity, Waste Management, and Eco-Innovation

University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) Competence Field Metropolitan Studies

In the future, the University Alliance Ruhr (Ger.: Universitätsallianz Ruhr, UA Ruhr) will put together its urban researach in the competence field Metropolitan Research. The alliance’s universities Bochum, Dortmund, and the University of Duisburg-Essen, will share their knowledge in the heterogenous topics of urban studies, which cover issues like energy efficiency, water circles, diversity, logistics, demographic change, controlling, and participation. A target of the alliance’s work will consist in developing solution strategies to recent urban challenges.

All 12 topics of the European Green Capital


August 2020

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