Gerard van Rooij and Hans Linden, the driving forces behind the Brightsite Plasmalab, enjoy looking back at the official opening November 18. Prof. Dr. Gerard van Rooij, Professor of Plasma Chemistry at Maastricht University, is Head of the Brightsite Plasmalab. Hans Linden, Manager of the Brightsite program line ‘Reduction of emissions by electrification’, played an important role in the funding and realization of the Brightsite Plasmalab on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
Prof. Dr. Gerard van Rooij (left) and Hans Linden (right) in the Brightsite Plasmalab
Prof. Dr. Gerard van Rooij, Professor of Plasma Chemistry at Maastricht University:
“The idea for the plasmalab came into being four years ago. I was still working at DIFFER and the subject of whether there was a place for plasma technology on the Chemelot campus came up. So I set about writing a feasibility study at the same time that Brightsite was being set up. We came up with innovative ideas on how we could make processes on the Chemelot campus more sustainable using plasma technology. Starting a plasma lab in collaboration with Maastricht University struck me as a great opportunity, also in view of the combination with the Circular Engineering bachelor program at Maastricht University, which was already being worked on at the time. The opening day was ‘like a kid in a candy store’,” he smiles. “The day confirmed to me that plasma technology is viable and that it will be able to play a role in the energy transition of the chemical industry.” Van Rooij also looks back with satisfaction on the other parts of the day: “The Brightlands Science Lecture was very inspiring. One important lesson I took from it is that we should not rest on our laurels when it comes to our ambitions for 2050. Will the energy transition happen in time? That is still very much the question — we’ll need all hands on deck.”
Hans Linden, Manager of the Brightsite program line ‘Reduction of emissions by electrification’:
“It was a very special day for the entire team. We now have the facilities to get started and realize our plasma plans — it’s a huge milestone. For a long time the plasmalab existed only in our heads and on paper, but now we can really get going. The VoltaChem talkshow that discussed applying plasma technology in the chemical industry was also really interesting, with a great choice of panelists. My takeaway from the show was how important it is to work together; we need each other to make progress.”
Next milestone for the plasmalab already at the start of 2022
We don’t have to wait long for yet another milestone, as it should be possible to convert methane at the Brightsite Plasmalab early next year. To be continued at our plasmalab.