Pre-Program 2021

Contribution and information on reactive nitrogen in Germany (host country)

Although the reorganisation of the cancelled INI 2020 brought with it some programme changes, we are very pleased to be able to offer you a colourful conference nonetheless at this year’s virtual INI, with some interesting presentations as well as new contributions. Organising the event exclusively online meant breaking new ground. Apart from publishing the presentations and posters from the conference programme one week before the event itself, please find below some links and keynotes that we would have liked to offer you in a side event at the Max Planck Society’s premises in Berlin. Intended as a pre-programme and as preparation, here are some interesting contributions by speakers from your host country, Germany. We thank you in advance for joining and hope that you will appreciate this initial information:

The Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG): Climate-friendly Transformation of the Global Fertiliser Industry by Malte Plewa

Nitric acid is a key compound in the production of nitrogen-based fertiliser. During the production of nitric acid, large quantities of nitrous oxide (N2O) are emitted as an unwanted by-product. Nitrous oxide is an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 265 times that of carbon dioxide. The Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) wants to incentivise permanent mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions in all nitric acid production facilities worldwide and offers technical support to its partner countries for the development of long-term, effective climate policies for this sector and for integrating these emissions into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.

Further information is available on the website: The Nitric Acid Climate Action Group

Abating N2O in nitric acid production! Watch the NACAG video here:

Remote Sensing in Agriculture by Heike Bach, CEO of VISTA

As an experienced scientist and specialist for remote sensing, Dr Heike Bach proves that digitisation is an opportunity to support sustainable agriculture and water management using environmental models and satellite image analyses. Core applications include site-specific fertilisation and yield forecasting. More than 20 years ago, Bach founded VISTA, a large German company that offers products and services for agriculture and construction.

Fritz Haber (1868-1934): Life, Work and Legacy by Bretislav Friedrich, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society

Fritz Haber, a German physical chemist, was the winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his successful work on nitrogen fixation. He was, however, a tragic figure: His revolutionary invention made it possible to feed more than two billion people in the world, but he also became known for his work in the development and use of chemical warfare agents in the First World War. We invited Professor Bretislav Friedrichas presenter, who is not only a well-known researcher in molecular physics working at the Fritz Haber Institute (Berlin). Bretislav maintains an abiding interest in the history of science and engages in efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

The History of Haber-Bosch at BASF in Germany

In 1909, German chemist Fritz Haber, then professor of physical chemistry and electrochemistry at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, made one of mankind’s most important discoveries: He developed the artificial synthesis of ammonia. In this way, a process was made available which delivered the nutrient element nitrogen in almost unlimited quantities for the production of fertilisers.

Fritz Haber shared his discovery with the Badische Anilin-& Sodafabrik (BASF). At BASF he met Carl Bosch, who transformed the catalytic process into an industrial process. The limited availability of fertilisers for food production was history.

Since then, the world’s population has increased from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6.8 billion in 2010 and will rise further to an estimated 9.8 billion in 2050.

The links below illuminate the early history of the Haber-Bosch process at BASF in Ludwigshafen.

100 Years of ammonia synthesis: from the first mineral fertilizer to clean air
1902-1924: Age of Fertilizers
BASF History

Recent scientific assessments and recommendations to reduce nitrogen pollution in Germany by Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency

Professor Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA) and an internationally renowned sustainability scientist, will give an overview of research on reactive nitrogen compounds at his institute. UBA has worked during recent years on the development of a national nitrogen boundary. Before joining the German Environment Agency (UBA), Messner was Director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn and Co-chairman of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).