Bioeconomy | Environment

Humans and animals require a healthy environment. But things look much different in reality: plastic waste is polluting the oceans and killing animals, while climate change with its scorching summers in recent years has brought about prolonged drought and devastating fires. The aim of the bioeconomy is to help protect the environment and promote a sustainable economy, by replacing petroleum, for example in the chemical industry, responding to water scarcity and recycling plastics over and over again rather than throwing them away.

New life despite drought

Water is a scarce commodity, as recent hot summers have made very clear. Specially treated wastewater can serve as a new source – for instance for growing vegetables.

Sugar instead of petroleum

Say goodbye to petroleum – sustainable raw materials are the future. This motto not only applies to biodiesel, but also to isobutene, a basic product used in the chemical industry. Researchers are now extracting this substance from sugar for the first time in a pilot plant.

Digitally marking and mapping individual flows of plastic goods

The global release of plastics into the environment must be stopped. The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE® addresses the issue of how to design plastic so that it can be recycled or degrade quickly without residue.

Recycling of waste wood and WPC

In order to be able to use waste wood repeatedly within the meaning of cascade utilization, the correct classification and sorting of contaminated wood in accordance with the waste wood categories is necessary. For this purpose, we are adapting new detection and sorting technologies and developing new products from waste wood.

Bioprocess scale-up

We have a broad bioprocess engineering know-how for process intensification and scale-up, whereby the processes developed on a laboratory scale are evaluated in advance with regard to their transferability to the industrial relevant scale and optimized iteratively during transfer and scale-up. These include the adaptation of process control strategies (batch, fed-batch, continuous) and integrated product purification to reduce process steps or the reuse of biocatalysts (e.g. by immobilization on carrier materials). In addition to the scale-up of processes to demonstration scale, we also provide sample quantities for application tests.