The quest for hidden fuel
31.05.13 - Energy is the driving force of our society. By its impact on resources, the economy, society and the environment, it has a major bearing on the 3 pillars of sustainable development. Efficiency and system integration is the hidden fuel of our future energy system. This is the quest of engineers : developing efficient and integrated energy systems that economically satisfy the needs of our development while minimizing the environmental impact and maximizing the use of renewable resources.
For this task, my research focuses on the development of computer aided methods that help engineers understanding the system's energetics to improve the efficiency of existing systems or to design more efficient and less impacting industrial processes and energy conversion systems. The major goal is to mathematically represents the possible options that exist and their mass and energy interactions and to use advanced multi-objective optimization techniques to extract the most attractive solutions. The method applies for rational use of energy and resources in industrial processes, process and energy conversion system design and in sustainable urban energy systems development.
Prof. Maréchal holds a process engineering degree (1986) and a Ph D from University of Liège in Belgium, where he obtained his Ph D. in the field of process integration of industrial sites. In 2001, he moved to Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland where he joined the Industrial Energy Systems Laboratory. He is now professor in EPFL, heading the Industrial Process and Energy System Engineering group conducting research in the field of the analysis and the design of sustainable industrial energy systems. His activities are focussing on the development of computer aided methods applying process integration and optimization techniques. He is member of the scientific committee of IFP Energies nouvelles and representative of Switzerland in the working party on the use of computers in chemical engineering of the european federation of chemical engineering. Publications of Francois Marechal may be found here.