On 18 – 19 February 2019, the EGAR RG, together with colleagues from Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno and ZERA Agency (Agricultural and Environmental Regional Agency, zs.) participated in an excursion to the WWTP Linz – Unkel near Bonn, Germany.
At this wastewater treatment plant, a unique PYREG facility is operated, which provides pyrolysis treatment of sewage sludge. The project, funded by the German government and taking into account the amended German Sewage Sludge Decree, is interesting from two perspectives. It uses phosphorus, resp. the PYREG plant drains the sewage sludge, carbonizes it, disinfects it and can be used as a soil conditioner or fertilizer with high bioavailable phosphorus content. Furthermore, it is a device that is autothermal – pure energy from the treated sewage sludge is used for plant operation.
The EGAR research group, together with its partners, is engaged in microwave torrefaction of sewage sludge, which is one of the forms of low temperature pyrolysis. In the AdMaS center, within the scope of the research, dried sewage sludges from various large WWTPs on laboratory equipment are tested, as well as in a small pilot plant with a capacity of about 10 kg of dry sewage sludge per experiment. The RG EGAR also shares similar goals with the German colleagues – to transform the sewage sludge with the technology into a carbonaceous product with a wide application – in agriculture, energy, or as a filter medium.
The aim of the excursion was to exchange contacts and experience from the operational application of technology, the possibility of comparing legislation, when the Czech Republic is currently deciding how to deal with future treatment of sewage sludge, and the so-called German route is one of the options. At the same time, RG EGAR received samples of carbonaceous product, which can be further compared with its own development.
Researchers from the AdMaS Center co-operate with Sweco Hydroprojekt a.s. and the German company Wagener & Herbst Management Consultants GmbH, on Analysis of Marketing Potential and Technical Parameters of the New Port Area of the Czech Republic in Hamburg, commissioned by the Directorate of Waterways of the Czech Republic
The aim is to identify and quantify the marketing potential of the new port territory of the Czech Republic in Hamburg for trade between islands (and Europe using offshore maritime transport) and the Czech Republic, identification of opportunities for the port State’s function to support trade with the Czech Republic and identification of technical parameters for the port territory.
The new harbor area will reach the basic parameters of the area of 30 thousand m2, includeing handling and storage area, covered warehouse, administrative facilities, harbor walls 200-300 m long with a boat access to the boat about 11 m without limit of height, accesses of river boats without restriction, road and rail connection.
The port territory is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free and HanseaticCity of Hamburg, in the port territory without a defined customs territory or other access restriction, whereby the landlord of infrastructure to individual users will be the Czech Republic through the Directorate of Waterways of the Czech Republic. The port territory will be activated in the reference year 2022.
At the beginning of January, we welcomed another Brazilian trainee, Giulii Tomazi Kny at AdMaS, Center. Giulia comes from the city of Porto Alegre and is a bachelor’s student at the Federal University of Rio Grande to SUL (UFRGS http://www.ufrgs.br/english/home). She joined the Admas Center as part of a program of academic internships for Brazilian students at research institutes at Czech universities, organized by the Institute of Czech-Brazilian Academic Cooperation INCBAC (http://www.incbac.org/index_en.php). Giulia was involved in the project Optimizing Granulometry of Fine Parts in Concrete, led by prof. Hela, a member of the TSH research group.
Student FAST, Lukáš Novák, under the guidance of the AdMaS Center’s scientific director, prof. Ing. Drahomír Novák, DrSc., won the Ph.D. talent 2018 competition with work on the topic “Highly Efficient Reliability Analysis (HERA)”.
The project focuses on the development of reliable methods that can be used in practical applications. In recent years, a non-linear Finite Element method has been used more often to design new constructions and validate existing structures in combination with reliability analysis. However, existing reliability methods are highly computationally challenging and their correct use is often not possible, so the development of new efficient methods is an important part of the research focusing on the reliability and safety of structures.
Ph.D. talent competition is intended for outstanding students of the first year of doctoral programs of Brno universities. Both Czech and foreign students can apply for a scholarship. The competition is open and its rules do not set any quotas for recipients of partner universities, faculties, or institutions for which students are intended. The financial contribution should have a positive effect on the scholarship, in order to eliminate the worries about daily living, so that the student can fully devote himself to doctoral studies, scientific work, as well as building his/her professional future.
The reason for the support for talented doctoral students is a proven low financial evaluation compared to PhD students in advanced EU countries.
On 26.11. and 27.11. the practical training of all exercises of the course BM001 – Road Structures I. was carried out at the AdMaS Laboratories of Road Construction.
Students of the 3rd year of study in the field of Construction and Traffic Construction and in the field of Urban Engineering have seen a practical demonstration of asphalt mix production and subsequent production of test bodies. Judging by the reaction of the students, the teaching was interesting and successful. The test bodies were afterwords taken as a souvenir.
On Thursday, November 22, 2018, the AdMaS Research Team -Microstructure of Building Materials Research Group’s – conducted the verification of developed materials for sprayed concrete in real-world construction conditions in Prague. When researching new mixtures for torkret, which are part of the solution and the diploma thesis of Radek Hermann, it is necessary to verify the matter not only in laboratory conditions, but also with the use of concrete spraying equipment. Thanks to the linking of research with the creation of diploma theses at the Faculty of Civil Engineering BUT, the students become an essential part of the research team and cooperate on the development of new construction products.
On 28 and 29 November 2018, Microstructure of Building Materials researchers, in collaboration with WTA CZ, organized the 40th Conference on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Buildings 2018. The conference is dealing with the rehabilitation of buildings that are thematically divided into these areas, such as protection and restoration of wooden structures, surface treatment, stone restoration, masonry redevelopment, redevelopment of concrete structures, etc. Representatives of WTA CZ and other leading Czech experts took part in the conference. Together with the Conference on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Buildings, an international conference was held under the name of the 20th CRRB – Conference on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Buildings. Selected contributions to this conference will be published in a scientific journal included in the Scopus database.
During the conference several scientists were awarded for outstanding diploma and dissertation work in the field of rehabilitation and reconstruction of buildings. The conference was attended by the expert section of the Quality Council of the Czech Republic “Quality in Industry and Construction” of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, with particular attention being paid to practical demonstrations of control and testing methods for evaluation of existing structures and for the quality control of remediation works.
On 23.11.2018, AdMaS employees of the Microstructure of Building Materials Research Group 23 organized an excursion for Building Material Engineering students to a production plant for autoclaved aerated concrete. Students thus had the unique opportunity to see all phases of production from raw materials to building components after their expedition. The interconnection of theory and practice is one of the basic stones of study at the M field of Faculty of Civil Engineering BUT.
On April 16, 2018, Admas hosted the second excursion of Lifelong Learning course participants focused on the so-called circular economy. Course organizers, Faculty of Environmental Protection of ICT Prague, and its partners, Institute of Circular Economics, r.i., SUEZ Resource use and the Czech Association of Circulation, has chosen the AdMaS Center with regard to its current activities in the concerned area but also beacuse of the technical and technological background of the Center.
The organizers and participants primarily expressed their interest in the area of waste management, which is focus mainly of the research groups EGAR, Building Technologies and Microstructure of Building Materials. There was a demonstration of technologies for energy recovery from wastewater, biohazard use by microwave depolymerization technologies, possibilities of using gray water in the Czech conditions or cleaning of organically polluted water by anaerobic membrane unit technologies with nutrient picking. Participants further acquainted with the technical equipment for diagnostics of newly developed materials from recycled raw materials (glass, slag, polystyrene and others) – X-ray tomograph, devices for diagnostics of thermal technical properties, acceleration of aging, corrosion chambers.
The activities of individual research groups were also briefly presented, with an emphasis on the possibilities of comprehensive solution of problems in the field of construction and resource use.
Participants from technology, consultancy, and universities took part in the course to acquire specific knowledge in the field of emerging circulatory discipline supported by the European Commission, which will influence a wide range of activities in the coming years from product development and production, recycling technology, waste management, marketing, environmental protection, and corporate social responsibility. The transition from the linear to the circulating economy will change the resource-intensive approaches and will have a major impact on the development of new technologies and employment in the EU.
On 10.11. – 13.11. 2018 prof. Jan Kudrna and Ing. Pavel Šperka visited CONSULTEST AG laboratory in Ohringen, Switzerland.
During the visit, there were discussions about the research projects dealing with in the AdMaS Road Laboratory. Among other things, they debated the new high-modulus EME asphalt mixtures, which the Swiss experts have a big experience with and which are not used often for the roads in Czech Republic. After the discussion followed a visit to a lab and to buildings where these top asphalt mixes were used.
Last but not least, there was an excursion to the FBB plant in Hinwil, one of the most modern plants in Switzerland. The FBB representative made the visitors see it through the entire packaging plant. This plant is completely roofed and the aggregate or recycled material is stored in large roofed landfills, which is unparalleled to anything in Czech Republic. At the same time, it is equipped with a parallel drum, which allows the high proportion of recycled material (so-called R-material) to be delivered to new asphalt mixtures.
Based on the experience from Swiss colleagues the visitors realized that there is still a lot to be learned and to be improved in Czech Republic. In conclusion, this foreign journey was very stimulating and brought a lot of new ideas into the projects solved within the AdMaS Center.