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  • © Fraunhofer ICT

    Designed for performance and durability, synthetic plastics have become indispensable as “materials of every-day use”. However, their indiscriminate disposal has led to an acute problem of plastic pollution. In order to solve this issue, the European Union not only tries to implement a circular system to reuse, repair and recycle plastics (circular economy) but it also aims to produce plastics of renewable resources (bio-based plastics). Poly-lactic acid (PLA) is one of the most promising and frequently used polyesters from this category.

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  • Lightweight design: Fraunhofer is reducing engine weight and assembly costs / 2020

    Plastic camshaft module reduces CO2 emissions

    Press release / May 04, 2020

    The camshaft module features a monolithic design with integrated bearings.
    © Fraunhofer ICT

    Plastic in cars reduces their weight. Currently, however, camshaft modules, which are a key component of powertrains, are still being made from aluminum. Now a research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, in collaboration with their partners, has succeeded in manufacturing a camshaft module from fiber-reinforced thermoset polymers. This lightweight design element helps lower engine weight and reduces assembly costs. It is currently available as a functional demonstrator.

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  • © Fraunhofer ICT

    Renewable energy sources like solar cells (photovoltaics) and wind turbines require large-scale energy storage systems to balance out fluctuations in energy generation. Redox-flow batteries (RFBs) are considered to be one of the most promising solutions. RFBs store and release energy as electrons are swapped between two chemical reactants, via an electric conductor. The wide range of electroactive substances available – many of which occur in nature – means that vast numbers of potential redox-flow systems remain to be explored.

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  • Energy storage systems are of crucial importance to all sectors of industry involved in the energy and mobility transition. The idea behind Germany’s ‘Forschungsfertigung Batteriezelle’ is to create a development center for battery cell production that will serve the whole of Germany. Known by its German abbreviation FFB, the new battery cell research facility will close the current gap in the value chain of primary and rechargeable batteries and eliminate the need to depend on other markets. The project team, which consists of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its research partners, is now embarking on the first steps to put the FFB concept into practice at the chosen location of Münster in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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  • Colorful mixture of plastic granules: A colorful mix of materials is problematic for sort-ing and recycling technologies.
    © Fraunhofer UMSICHT

    The global release of plastics into the environment must be stopped. The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence “Circular Plastics Economy” concerns itself with how plastic must be designed so that it can be recycled, degraded quickly and without residues, or, at best, not be released into the environment. At K 2019, the five Fraunhofer Institutes involved are using the example of plastics to present the research approach that should convert energy flows and mate-rial streams in a recycling chain into a circular form of economy. Hall 7, Stand SC1.

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