We are rethinking water and wastewater treatment - wastewater is both a residual material and a resource: it can supply entire greenhouses with its nutrients and be reused in production processes for months to years. Water is existential, should be available everywhere in sufficient quantities, and should remain free of trace substances and microplastics.
In addition to the classic solution approaches, we use light as a variant-rich tool both for increasing the efficiency of wastewater technology materials such as membranes and for new high-performance food production systems. Fraunhofer UMSICHT is one of the pioneers in Germany for building-integrated food production. In line with this diversity of topics, our team has an interdisciplinary structure. Our competencies cover process, water and wastewater technology as well as plant cultivation and microstructuring and optical technologies.
Under the umbrella term "light as a raw material", methods and processes are being developed in a laser and LED laboratory that use light as a tool in wide areas of production - for example, for laser processes in material structuring, exposure systems in plant production or for the decontamination of (waste) water.
We develop treatment processes for liquid media. The focus is on advanced processes for water and wastewater technology with a focus on decontamination (e.g. trace substances, microplastics), process- and building-integrated recycling and recovery of recyclables. In addition, we work on fact-based discussion around the topic of microplastics and identify hotspots for tire abrasion in water bodies.
Decreasing yields in conventional vegetable cultivation as well as ever decreasing cultivation areas and the consequences of climate change are steadily increasing the demand for plant production systems (greenhouses, indoor farms) worldwide. Among other things, we use the flexibility of urban material flows and develop new solutions, processes and products for indoor cultivation systems. The inFARMING® concept forms the basis for this.