The best possible use of resources is a central element of sustainable future development. The research focus lies in the intersection of energy and process engineering and deals with the multifaceted issues of these fields. Focal points are, for example, in the areas of energy supply from biogenic and renewable raw materials, the topic of water with its characteristics of waste water, process water and drinking water as well as an energy-efficient and resource-efficient use of snow-making systems (keyword: snow management).
The aim of the research projects in this field is to develop innovative solutions and concepts for current and future challenges, which are often developed together with partners from industry and research.
Bioenergy is one of the most important domestic sources of energy, reducing costly imports of natural gas and oil and making sustainable use of our own resources. Further strengthening of bioenergy requires the development of systems and facilities for the provision of electricity and heat from woody biomass. Not only is a decentralized, sustainable energy supply concept in the foreground, but also the maximization of the efficiency and above all the flexibility of the raw material used. In order to make complex biomass accessible in a way that is as efficient and consistent as possible, both the optimized storage to avoid substance losses and basic transformations of the materials are examined, as well as their drying, pelletization and valorization towards biochar.
While the development of alternative energy sources is often relatively difficult for the end user of heating and cooling, centralized plants can be operated with high efficiency and minimal pollutant or CO2 emissions. The research focus here is therefore the investigation and development of corresponding energy distribution and storage systems at different temperature levels as well as for different producer and consumer technologies.
Membranes have been established for many years now in various technical and industrial fields. On the one hand, the research area Membrane Technology deals with the production and optimization of membranes for liquid and gaseous media and, on the other hand, with the application of membrane processes in technical processes. One focus is on the selection and laboratory characterization of membranes for the respective application.
The research activities in the field of water treatment and wastewater treatment aim to further develop the underlying purification processes and reduce the necessary resource consumption. Innovative methods such as chemical-oxidative water treatment with oxygen ions and radicals are used on the one hand. On the other hand, established methods such as the activated sludge process or the anaerobic sludge digestion in reactors are further developed. The focus is on improving the interaction of the underlying biological purification processes with the reactor hydraulics in the treatment basins in order to increase pollutant degradation while at the same time reducing energy consumption for the process.