Energy on This Old House

Ask This Old HouseMy DVR told me to watch this and it was right.

I love This Old House and Ask This Old House. They did a 30 minute home energy special this past week that, whether the show producers knew it or not, shows off electrochemistry and solid state science in the most practical terms.

Richard and Kevin take a trip to Germany to discover how the country has become a world leader in energy efficiency. They find answers in the mechanical rooms of a home and a bed and breakfast. Plus, Kevin and Ross head to Texas to install a residential wind turbine in Texas.

Dinia, who is ECS's graphic designer, helping register attendees at the 228th ECS Meeting

Dinia, who is ECS’s graphic designer, helping register attendees at the 228th ECS Meeting

I should have guessed Germany would be the focus for energy after attending the 228th ECS Meeting in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. For the first time we brought along one of our staff members, Dinia, who is German. It seemed like she was talking to every other attendee in her native language. I had no idea how many German speakers we had at our meetings.

The wind turbine part of the show from Texas is equally interesting and equally electrochemical.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about energy and electrochemistry/solid state science. The Electrochemical Energy Summit was part of the 228th ECS Meeting. We interviewed seven major players in the alternative energy field in between their talks. They made the point repeatedly that electrochemistry is at the forefront of energy production and the sustainability of our planet. There is a video in the works on the topic.

Watch the energy episode of Ask This Old House.

Gerischer's immense contributions continue to leave an indelible mark, not only in electrochemistry, but also in physical chemistry and materials chemistry.

Gerischer’s immense contributions continue to leave an indelible mark, not only in electrochemistry, but also in physical chemistry and materials chemistry.

An article by Adam Heller, Dieter Kolb, and Krishnan Rajeshwar in the Fall 2010 issue of Interface.

Heinz Gerischer was born on March 31, 1919 in Wittenberg, Germany. He studied chemistry at the University of Leipzig between 1937 and 1944 with a two-year interruption because of military service. In 1942, he was expelled from the German Army because his mother was born Jewish; he was thus found “undeserving to have a part in the great victories of the German Army.” The war years were difficult for Gerischer and his mother committed suicide on the eve of her 65th birthday, in 1943. His only sister, Ruth (born in 1913), lived underground after escaping from a Gestapo prison and was subsequently killed in an air raid in 1944.

In Leipzig, Gerischer joined the group of Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer, a member of a distinguished family, members of whom were persecuted and murdered because of opposition to Nazi ideology. Bonhoeffer descended from an illustrious chemical lineage of Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932) and Walther Hermann Nernst (1864-1941), and kindled Gerischer’s interest in electrochemistry, supervising his doctoral work on periodic (oscillating) reactions on electrode surfaces, completed in 1946. He followed Bonhoeffer to Berlin where his PhD supervisor had accepted the directorship of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Humboldt University, and also became the department head at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin-Dahlem (later the Fritz Haber Institute). Gerischer himself was appointed as an “Assistent.” Many years later, Gerischer would return to this distinguished institution as its director. With the Berlin Blockade and the prevailing economic conditions the post-war research was carried out under extremely difficult conditions.

Read the rest.

A Revolution in Renewable Energy

Towering like a beacon of hope in Germany’s North Sea stand wind turbines. Stretching as high as 60-story buildings and standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, the turbines are part of Germany’s push to find a solution to global warming.

Some call it change. Some call it transformation. We call it a revolution.

According to an article in the The New York Times, it is expected that by the end of the year, scores of new turbines will be set in place – thus allowing low-emission electricity to be sent to German cities hundreds of miles south.


ECS Member Discount for Battery Seminars

ECS members are now eligible for a special discounted rate on EL-CELL’s seminar programs. The first, a hands-on seminar on basic battery research will be offered November 6 & 7, 2014 at the EL-CELL facility in Hamburg, Germany. The second, a hands-on seminar on advanced battery research will be offered March 12 & 13, 2015, also in Hamburg, Germany.

Logo EL-CELL farbig

Johannes Hinckeldeyn, Director of Sales and Marketing at EL-CELL, explains the strong collaboration with ECS, “EL-CELL wants to become the standard toolbox for all battery researchers. ECS is the global organization of Electrochemists and therefore our main partner to support electrochemists who want to achieve better research results. Beside our equipment, we offer special seminars for beginners and experienced researchers to learn how to conduct successful battery tests with our equipment. ECS members are cordially invited to participate and they will get special conditions for our seminars.” Please visit for registration and further information.