Thursday, 11 November 2010

Students get reward at BioRef event

A substantial audience turned out for the lecture on 'Concepts for Future Biorefineries' with Prof. Franck Dumeignil from the Université de Lille at the end of October in the Brel Theatre, British School of Brussels (BSB). The event also saw some of the winners of our Chemistry Challenge competition get their prizes.

Prof Dumeignil is project coordinator for the large EuroBioRef Project which is supported by €23 million funding from the EU's 7th Framework Programme. This project, which was launched earlier in 2010, involves 28 partners from 14 countries and intends to develop a new highly integrated concept, moving from the current single feedstock, single product biofuel production to a refinery using multiple, non-edible, feedstocks, multiple processes and making multiple products, such as aviation fuel and chemicals.

The main challenges and approaches to this field of research were outlined by Prof Dumeignil and some specific aspects of the EuroBioRef project, which is part of a matrix of EU-funded projects that are covering pretty much all aspects of the integrated biorefinery concept. The talk inspired a lively debate over drinks and nibbles afterwards.

Student prizes
Prior to the lecture some of the winners of our first Chemistry Challenge/ Olympiad received their prizes. Pictured below (from left to right) are winner Sagar Shah (from BSB), competition organiser Rita Woodward, RSC Belgium Chairman Prof. Bob Crichton, student winners Luca Schopen (from St John’s International School) and Shonit Shah (from BSB).

The Chemistry Challenge was a big hit with a wide range of schools. As it is based around problem-solving involving both chemical knowledge and mental agility it has more potential to easily translate across the language communities in Belgium, unlike, for example an essay competition. Feedback from teachers and students was very positive and we hope to make this an annual event.

Plasma Tech
Don't forget our next lecture with Dr. Laurent Denis from the University of Mons on: Materials for Today - Thin Film Applications of Plasma Technology. The lecture takes place on Thursday, November 18th in the Swoosh Lounge at BSB (19:45 for 20:00 kick-off) with informal discussion with the speaker over drinks and nibbles afterwards.

If you want to come to any RSC Belgium events don't forget to register in advance by emailing the section so we can quantify the drinks and nibbles required.

IYC 2011
Plans are advancing to kick-off our International Year of Chemistry programme with a Café Chimique Climate Change debate in the Espace 53 pod at the Autoworld Museum at the Brussels Cinquantenaire on Thursday January 27th 2011. This will be a very special venue with very special speakers. Doors will open 19:15 and prebooking will be essential. Full details will be circulated early in the New Year.

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