Press releases

  • Handover of the funding decision / 2023

    A new production process to enable the cost-efficient market ramp-up of green methanol

    Press release / November 20, 2023

    Leuna 100: Übergabe des Fördermittelbescheids
    © PPBraun

    The world’s first pilot plant for the cost-efficient production of green methanol was inaugurated today in the Leuna Chemical Park as part of the Leuna100 project. Behind it is a research consortium made up of the climate-tech start-up C1 Green Chemicals AG and its partners, Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, DBI – Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg, and the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin). The goal is to utilize a fundamentally new production process to enable the cost-efficient market ramp-up of green methanol and thus offer the container shipping industry a climate-neutral alternative fuel.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT analyzed the environmental effects of recycling for Interzero in the new study "resources SAVED by recycling" for 2022. The result: Interzero and its customers save around 1 million tons of greenhouse gases and 8.7 million tons of primary resources. The consistent recycling of materials in a circular economy thus contributes considerably to climate protection and at the same time makes Germany and Europe fit for the future as a place to live and do business.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT has revolutionized the production process of the high-performance insulation material aerogel. For this, the researchers received the first Innovation Award of the European Association for Research and Technology Organization EARTO in the “Impact Expected” category in Brussels on October 11, 2023. The non-profit association awards the prize to products and services with high social or economic benefits for the EU.

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  • PerfluorAd® – Sustainable by combined treatment / 2023

    Market-ready solution for PFAS reduction in contaminated water and wastewater

    Press release / September 21, 2023

    Von links: Prof. Dr.-Ing Christian Doetsch, Institutsleiter Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Christina Zollmarsch, HUB Managerin Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH, Jürgen Schnitzmeier, Geschäftsführer ZENIT GmbH, Dr.-Ing. Martin Cornelsen, Geschäftsführer Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie GmbH, Oliver Krischer, Minister für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Verkehr des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kerstin Groß, Hauptgeschäftsführerin Industrie- und Handelskammer für Essen, Mülheim a. d. R., Oberhausen zu Essen, Melanie Bodeck, Referentin für Kommunikation Umweltwirtschaft im Ministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Verkehr des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are essential in many promising technologies but also in everyday products. This results from their special physicochemical properties such as water-, grease- and dirt-repellent characteristics and their chemical and thermal stability. However, the high stability of the compounds and their omni-present distribution pose risks to humans, living beings and the environment, which is especially true for its occurrence in aqueous environments and soils. In addition, PFAS are partly toxic, harmful to reproduction or cancer-causing. The EU is therefore planning to ban their production and use. As part of an information exchange, Oliver Krischer, Minister for the Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia, visited Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie GmbH to discuss the future challenges of PFAS disposal. Representatives of the IHK (Chamber of Commerce), ZENIT GmbH and Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH focused, in particular, on the PerfluorAd® reprocessing technology. Fraunhofer UMSICHT as (co-)inventor of the technology and research partner of Cornelsen was also present.

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  • Fraunhofer CCPE compact / 2023

    Circularity in lightweight design - a major challenge

    Press release / September 05, 2023

    How can lightweight design become more circular? What role are composites playing in this? And what developments in this field is the Fraunhofer CCPE researching? Sascha Kilian, Head of the Research Department Application and Demonstration at the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE, answers these questions in a short interview. More information on the state of research in the recycling of lightweight materials awaits interested parties at the online event "Fraunhofer CCPE compact - Materials for circularity in efficient lightweight design" on October 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

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  • Start for the "Leuna100" project / 2023

    Use of the green fuel saves gigatons of CO2

    Press release / August 15, 2023

    © Fraunhofer UMSICHT/Mike Henning

    The Berlin-based climate tech start-up C1, together with its partners – the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, DBI-Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg and the Technical University of Berlin – announces the launch of the “Leuna100” project. The goal of the project is the scalable production of market-ready green methanol for marine and aviation applications. Methanol is seen as key to defossilizing these industries and to free them from their dependence on oil. To achieve this, the consortium of experts is relying on the new C1 catalysis process to produce green methanol. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) with a total of € 10.4 M. over the next three years.

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  • Aufbau der Methanolanlage im Carbon2Chem®-Technikum bei thyssenkrupp Steel Europe in Duisburg.

    In order to make steel production more climate-friendly, researchers at Fraunhofer UMSICHT are developing a process in the Carbon2Chem® project with which metallurgical gases can be recycled. The focus is on the production of methanol. After a development phase lasting several years, pilot-scale tests followed on the institute's premises in Oberhausen starting in 2020. Now the methanol plant was moved to the steel mill of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG in Duisburg, where it is operated with gases from ongoing steel production.

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  • Converter / 2023

    LCA of battery-grade lithium

    Press release / June 14, 2023

    Fraunhofer UMSICHT conducted a Life Cycle Assessment for battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) for the German-Canadian company RockTech. They plan to build a Converter in Guben (Lausitz) in order to serve the electromobility sector. The results: The LCA shows a base case carbon footprint of 10.5 kg per kilogram of battery-grade LHM. Under optimal conditions, the LCA also demonstrates potential to further decrease emissions significantly to 5.4 kg.

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  • Stainless steel recycling is considered to be a sustainable way to save CO2 in the globally growing steel production. As early as 2010, Fraunhofer UMSICHT researchers determined a savings potential of more than 4.5 t CO2 per ton of blend on behalf of the Oryx Stainless Group. More recent calculations by the UMSICHT team even come to savings of over 6.7 t CO2 -eq. per ton of blend for the reference year 2021. The results show: The recycling of stainless steel scrap has great potential to save greenhouse gases.

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  • White paper / 2023

    New guide to the future of plastics

    Press release / June 01, 2023

    How does a future-proof, circular and sustainable plastics economy look like? The answer is a balance ranging from plastics reduction to a sustainable use of recyclable plastics. After all, the increasing demand for plastics in high-value applications such as food packaging, car parts or synthetic textiles requires a holistic change. With four strategic approaches, researchers from the German institute Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Dutch institute TNO now provide insights into how this future scenario could look like in their recently published white paper "From #plasticfree to future-proof plastics". Both organizations also start a hands-on platform for plastics in a circular economy: European Circular Plastics Platform – CPP aimed at removing existing barriers and sharing of promising solutions.

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