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Current Research Projects

 

Marker based sorting and recycling system for plastic packaging

At the core of the new sorting system is the so-called „Tracer-Based Sorting (TBS)“. By means of this technology, developed and patented by project partner Polysecure, plastic packaging sorting clearly exceeds conventional sorting approaches. Packaging can thus be sorted according to significantly more differentiated criteria than the conventional plastic type sorting that is currently available.
To this end research partner KIT is further developing the fluorescence marker substances being employed in the project. Yet, the overall objective is the pilot application under technical conditions: In a first step, marker substances will be added to packaging materials or labels of the packaging of the brands FROSCH and EMSAL from project partner Werner & Mertz. The high-tech marker substance shows fluorescent properties when irradiated with a specific kind of light during the sorting process. The sorting machine to be developed and built by Polysecure in Freiburg is exploiting this effect for packaging identification and sorting of the marked objects. In this way plastic waste can be separated and can be specifically recycled – independently of form, colour and contamination.
Within the scope of the research project the entire recycling process will be analysed and further developed. On the one hand, marker materials and application areas of the retrieved secondary raw materials are assessed, and on the other hand the project partners are working together to optimize the waste management. Moreover, we the innovation effects of the technology in the market environment is observed.
This interdisciplinary collaboration will provide the basis for an increase in material recycling of plastic packaging in the sense of the safeguarding of raw materials and reducing environmental hazards in Germany.

Project Duration

2017 - 2019

External Source

funded by Ministry of Education and Research, part of the flagship initiative Green Economy, within the BMBF-framework programme “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA³)

Reference No.

033R195A

Project Organization

Institute for Industrial Ecology (INEC), Pforzheim University

Project Partner

  • Polysecure GmbH (Freiburg)
  • Werner & Mertz GmbH (Mainz)
  • Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (Köln)
  • Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik des Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • die Unterauftragnehmer CMO-SYS GmbH und Nägele Mechanik GmbH
  • assoziierter Partner: Umwelttechnik BW GmbH (Landesagentur für Umwelttechnik und Ressourceneffizienz Baden-Württemberg)

Development of a resource-efficient water management and plant concept for pretreatment and coating plants using the electroimpulsive technology for the decontamination of industrial water and lacquers

Project Manager

Project Duration

2016 - 2019

External Source

Funding measure "Nachhaltiges Wassermanagement" (NaWaM), programme "Forschung für nachhaltige Entwicklungen" (FONA)

Reference No.

02WAV1405C

Project Coordination

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institut für Hochleistungsimpuls- und Mikrowellentechnologie (IHM), Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Frey

Project Partners

Project Homepage

Simulation games for the disclosure of corporate energy and ressource efficiency measures

The KSI project is focused on the development, testing and dissemination of organization simulations in different fields of possible resource efficiency measures. These simulations are addressed to decision-makers in producing industries. The participants of the simulations run through typical situations in companies, e.g. in order to find potentials for efficiency enhancements, to develop appropriate measures and its communication and implementation in companies. These simulations in terms of management or role-playing games investigating concrete example companies or production processes are offered as advanced training measures for employees through appropriate networks.

Main goal is an efficient energy and material use and thus to reach direct and indirect saving of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). By using concrete examples the player gets to know typical situations likely to arise in practice and suitable implementation concepts will be worked out within the game. The player has to simulate operational processes and the technical system including all resource consumptions and GHG emissions and to quantify the results. Important experiences are the social interaction within the game, the learning effects and the contributions to solving different conflicts of objectives and further the direct transferability of the methods - used within the simulation -  to the own company. With the aid of the simulations it is aspired to establish a “Resource Efficiency Awareness” and to strengthen the decision-making competence and action by the operational decision-makers in the production.

The training program thus provides specific knowledge in the field of resource efficiency directly at the interface between management and production in order to remove barriers and to initiate innovation processes. This results in an employee qualification and a long-term behavioral change in the company which also leads to a saving of GHG by implementing different resource efficiency measures.

 

 

Project Manager

Project Duration

2016 - 2019

External Source

Federal Ministriy of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

Reference No.

03KF0045

Sustainability aspects of gold production and gold recycling and lessons for extensive metal recycling

The supply of metals is increasingly subject to risks and limitations that are currently reflected in the volatility of world market prices. The EU, the Federal Government and the professional world speak of critical raw materials and claim the efficient use of resources, including the increased use in cycles. The precious metal gold does not belong directly to the critical raw materials, but it has played the role of scarce and coveted metal for thousands of years. In the jewelry sector, it is recycled to a large extent. New applications in the high-tech sector, e.g. in electronics, are becoming more and more difficult to handle. The main problem here is the logistics and the concentration of the product streams, which make the recycling cost- and energy intensive. At the same time, the reduction of primary gold is associated with major environmental and social problems, such as in the informal artisanal mining sector in developing and emerging countries. This significantly influences the environmental performance of the raw material gold.
Together with leading divestatories, the most important gold production, processing and recycling paths are to be examined holistically. The advantages and disadvantages are presented, gaps in the world-wide data sets, e.g. for LCA, are to be closed. The problems of artisanal mining and the opportunities of recycling are discussed. Gold is thus a case study for a today already real circulatory economy of a scarce metal.

Project Manager

Project Duration

2016 - 2019

External Source

Federal Ministry of Education and Reserach - FHprofUnt

Reference No.

03FH045PX5

Comparative analysis of the resource efficiency of primary and secondary raw material production - Economic indicators and the energy expenditure as a central evaluation indicator - the raw material-energy-nexus

In the project three topics will be processed. The first complex deals with the importance of the primary raw material in relation to the secondary raw material economy in Baden-Württemberg.
The second complex deals with the regionalization of current national and international approaches for economic indicators to measure resource efficiency.
The third part proposes a comprehensive approach for assessing the ecological and economic costs of primary and secondary production of raw materials. The focus is on the energy expenditure associated with the extraction or recycling of raw materials ( "Nexus"). The approach deals, e.g. With the energy expenditure with decreasing ore content in primary production or with increasing dissipation of valuable substances during recycling. An energetic indicator is used, which includes both the primary and secondary production for different raw materials as well as the substitution of raw materials among each other. This part is handled by INEC.

Project Manager

Project Duration

2016 - 2018

External Source

Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg
BWplus

Centre of Applied Research Urban Energy Systems and Resource Efficiency

The focus of the Institute of Industrial Ecology is on the assessment of energy and resource efficiency in the overall context. In assessing complex urban systems in addition to the energy consumption and its environmental impact the use of other natural resources has to be considered. Energy is also bound in material flows, production of goods and in the infrastructure ("Embodied Energy"). This plays an important role in the metabolism of urban systems. This is followed by several important aspects: energy savings or the contribution to climate protection can often only be assessed holistically in the context of the whole energy and material metabolism. At the same, methods are required to assess and optimize the complex technical systems and their environmental impact multi-criterially. The holistic assessment approaches and optimization methods to be applied in the project specifically to the case studies and provide an overarching assessment of options for action.

Project Duration

01.08.2015 - 31.07.2018

External Source

Federal State of Baden-Württemberg - Ministy for Science, Research and Art
EU - European Regional Development Fund - Innovation and Energiewende

Reference No.

FEIH_ZAFH_562822

Accompanying research to "100 companies for resource efficiency"

Manufacturing companies from Baden-Württemberg have the possibility to propose its successfully implemented or planned measures to resource efficiency for 100 lighthouse projects in Baden-Württemberg. The best practice examples will be selected jointly by the participating organizations, the Ministry of Environment, Umwelttechnik BW and the scientists of the research network and will be presented publicly at the end of the project. The project "100 companies for resource efficiency" is an essential part of the "Alliance for more efficient use of resources", which, in 2013, was established between the state government and the leading business associations in the country, including the National Association of Industry (LVI) and the provincial divisions of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( BWIHK), the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the Central Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industry (ZVEI).
The project is professionally supervised and organisationally coordinated by a composite of the Institute for Industrial Ecology (INEC), the Institute for Industrial Science and Technology Management (IAT) located at the University of Stuttgart and Umwelttechnik BW.

Project Manager

Project Duration

12/2014 - 05/2016

External Source

Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg

Simultaneous optimization of energy and resource efficiency of heat transfer regenerators

The aim of the research project is the optimization of heat exchanger rotors by thermodynamic modeling approaches taking into account constructive-manufacturing technology features.
Heat exchanger rotors are used in industrial and building services for transferring heat from hot to colder gas streams. From a technical perspective, these regenerative heat exchangers are substantially at the level of the 1960s. Against the background of rising energy prices and advancing climate change the incentive to recover energy has increased significantly. This project aims on the one hand to increase the efficiency of heat recovery and on the other hand to enable a more resource-efficient production of rotors.
First, the theoretical modeling is carried out with the implementation in a simulation program for the unsteady heat transfer of a small portion of the heat exchanger; assuming this, the model is then transferred to the continuous operation of the apparatus. With this model, important parameters can be varied in simulations and their effects can be analysed, without carrying out complicated test series.
Individual, determined by simulated calculations, optimal geometries of the heat exchanger can be subsequently converted into real heat exchangers in order to compare their properties with the simulation results. The results from this comparison flow back into the adaptation of the modeling program and thus the optimization loop would be closed.
Based on these findings rotor structures can be developed, which, adapted to each specific application, come up with a higher efficiency and can be manufactured with resource-conserving material inventory.

Project Manager

Project Duration

01.03.2015 - 28.02.2018

External Source

Federal Ministry for Education and Research

Reference No.

03FH049PX4