About us

Institute profile - Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology

Our main campus, with over 100 laboratories, multiple pilot plants and 3 test centers, is located in Pfinztal, near Karlsruhe. The New Drive Systems Department, with its various engine and exhaust test stands, is based on the East Campus of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

The use of wind energy, and also photovoltaics in the near future, allows us to operate our main campus with a decreasing carbon footprint. This campus comprises over 100 laboratories, pilot plants and test centers on 21 hectares of land in Pfinztal, near Karlsruhe. Our research strategy enables us to combine research and development work in this sector with large-scale demonstrators on our campus.

536 people are currently employed at Fraunhofer ICT. Our main campus is located on the Hummelberg hill in Pfinztal near Karlsruhe. The New Drive Systems Department, with its various engine and exhaust test stands, is located on the East Campus of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Our customers and project partners include chemical and chemical process engineering companies, automotive manufacturers and their suppliers, the aviation industry, the construction industry, the plastics processing industry, material manufacturers, recycling companies, companies in the energy and environmental sectors, and customers with safety-related issues. We are also the only explosives research institute in Germany to offer the entire spectrum from laboratory testing and technical processing through to fully developed systems.


In our research we focus on the scalability of processes, and on the transfer of research results from laboratory to pilot-plant scale, and in some cases to pre-series application.


Our core competences

Chemical Processes

This core competence comprises the ability to develop, design and implement innovative chemical processes from the laboratory through to the technical scale. It covers the entire process chain, from raw material processing, chemical synthesis, reaction control and downstream processing (especially separation processes) through to subsequent process steps such as product refinement (e.g. particle technology, shaping, formulation). Particular areas of expertise include process control, process diagnostics and process safety. Chemical Processes

Polymer Engineering

Since our partial restructuring in 1994, we have successfully conducted application-oriented research in this core competence with a focus on polymer and additive synthesis, material and formulation development, the further development of processing technologies for plastics, component development and service life analysis, lightweight construction using composites, the recycling of plastics, and the development of sustainability concepts for plastics solutions. Polymer Engineering

Energy and Drive Systems

A sustainable and affordable energy supply, and efficient energy use, are the focal points of current research policy, which aims to complete the energy transition and phase out fossil fuels. Within this core competence we work on electrical energy storage for mobile and stationary systems, as well as fuel cells and electrolysis, heat and material energy storage and the functional safety of the systems. In addition, we validate storage devices for mobile and stationary energy, and thermal storage devices. Within this area of expertise, our institute has accumulated more than 30 years of scientific know-how, laying the foundations for the development of efficient and cost-effective storage devices and converters. In the area of drive systems, we are developing solutions for both electric and internal combustion engine systems. Fraunhofer ICT designs, constructs and simulates drive systems, and validates them through testing. In the field of internal combustion engines we are investigating synthetic fuels and additives in our research engines. Energy and Drive Systems

Explosives Technology

In this competence area Fraunhofer ICT covers the entire chain of expertise, starting with the synthesis and characterization of explosives, and their refinement and further processing, through to formulation, production, testing, detection, modeling and simulation. We have many years of expertise in gun propellants, rocket propellants, explosives, gas generators, pyrotechnic formulations and energetic systems. In the field of safety and security research, we focus on the detection of explosives, from the development of sensor technology to the testing of aviation security equipment and the development of materials for protection concepts. Explosives Technology


History of the institute