We are currently focusing on two areas in the Chemical Conversion Processes business unit. The Carbon Cycle Technologies group is working on the efficient, resource-saving, and climate-neutral use of carbon resources, and is thus contributing to the development of efficient and sustainable solutions to pressing issues in society. The goal is to integrate sources of carbon back into the process chains (chemical recycling) using new technologies available for large-scale use, and therefore to close the carbon cycle. At the same time, the economically competitive production of mass products (such as basic chemicals, plastics) and high-priced special products (such as carbon fibers, extraction substances) based on domestic carbon resources should be made possible, including waste materials present in a wide range of qualities like plastic and biomass waste.
The links to the production and storage of electricity from renewable sources and of green hydrogen as well as the recycling of waste containing carbon, all of which are important building blocks for a circular carbon economy, will also be examined.
The Water Electrolysis group deals primarily with optimizing the generation and storage of hydrogen. The objective is to reduce the cost of investment and the operating costs to increase the competitiveness of water electrolysis in comparison to conventional hydrogen production processes such as steam reforming.
Since the production and storage of highly pure hydrogen places substantial requirements on the materials used, excellent know-how in material characterization and diagnostics is an important prerequisite. With the help of electrical, electrochemical, and microstructural processes, we analyze and characterize the materials and components used to produce and store hydrogen. The knowledge gained is used to optimize existing materials and develop new, more efficient materials.
We also study and analyze the technical and economic relevance of various electrolysis systems to make them ready for the market by conducting supplemental research and development.
Carbon Cycle Technologies
Integrated technology development for the effective and sustainable use of domestic carbon resources
New and advanced processes for extraction and solvolysis, pyrolysis, gasification, gas purification and waste water treatment, CO2-tolerant and CO2-based syntheses, waste preparation, conveying and feeding systems for coal and waste materials
Analysis of carbon resources and their conversion products
Pilot-scale systems for testing the various substances used based on different conversion concepts and under near-industrial conditions
Supplementary research for model-based (predictive) design, control, and regulation; new material and process sensors for highly efficient control and regulation: integrated process chains for the carbon cycle; and development and testing of alternative material systems in areas subject to high thermal and chemical stresses.
Identification of the degradation behavior of stack components and the development of strategies for its minimization and prevention
Development and characterization of improved materials for water electrolysis
Microstructural evaluation of components for electrolyzers and transport containers
Evaluation of electrolyzers on an industrial scale
Reliability studies on power electronics and on the process and safety sensors