Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology

Research field

Industrial Ecology; Environmental Engineering

Contact info


Research leader

Gang Liu

Professor WSR, born 1982

Project title

Critical Resource Bottlenecks and Constraint Aware Pathways towards 100% Renewable Energy in Denmark (ReCAP)

What is your project about?

Will there be supply chain bottlenecks of critical materials, either geotechnically or geopolitically, in our transition towards 100% renewable energy by 2050? And how can we address resource constraints with dynamics in technological and societal development along the entire value chain? These are the fundamental questions we aim to answer in this project, by advancing knowledge and developing novel models for demand forecasting and supply chain analysis.

How did you become interested in your particular field of research?

My interest in unlocking the material-energy nexus came naturally from my academic background: I was trained as a geographer (with a natural interest on spatial issues and supply chains), have worked for and with several energy and materials companies (so awareness of their challenges and agendas), and have actively engaged in the industrial ecology field in the past decade (well equipped with necessary models and tools).

What are the scientific challenges and perspectives in your project?

Achieving our ambitious energy and climate targets depend on critical resources in a complex yet poorly understood supply chain. On the one hand, building up future renewable energy capacities lead to increasing demand of critical resources in the upstream and challenges at the end-of-life. On the other hand, various countries play different roles in such a supply chain, therefore identifying constraint aware pathways would require an understanding of this complexity so that we can act in advance for technology innovation and industry investment.

What is your estimate of the impact, which your project may have to society in the long term?

The project results will be of high business relevance and strategic importance for industry and governmental resource, energy, and climate strategies. For example, insights on supply chain risks, technological pathway choices, and business opportunities and barriers for end-of-life management can further enhance competitiveness of the Danish renewable energy industry. This will potentially open up a new line of research that models and addresses linkages of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Which impact do you expect the Sapere Aude programme will have on your career as a researcher?

This Sapere Aude project will enable a critical transition to developing and strengthening my qualifications and competencies in fundamental basic research, for example as a stepping stone for an ERC project in the next years. With this project I aim to become a frontrunner internationally in an emerging field, material-energy nexus, that is of particular importance and relevance to Danish research and society.

Background and personal life

I was born in China and moved to Scandinavia in 2008 (first in Norway and since 2015 in Denmark). I like reading, travelling, and following and playing football outside of my work. Now my wife Juan and me spend most of our spare time with our two lovely little ones at home, my daughter Sissi and my son Daniel.

City of your current residence

Odense, Denmark

High school

Yibin No. 1 High School, Sichuan, China