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  • Used correctly, modern membrane technologies can treat polluted industrial wastewater better than classical treatment technologies alone can. Our Membrane Technology Application Center in Schmalkalden operates at the interface between science and industry. Fraunhofer IKTS operates more than 20 laboratory and pilot plants on an area of around 370 m², which have been specially designed for specific application scenarios. Here, new membrane prototypes are characterized, effective cleaning strategies are developed, and feasibility studies and field tests are carried out for industrial customers and research partners.

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  • Sewage pipe.
    © Thomas Hoang | pixabay.com

    With the right purification and treatment technologies, wastewater can be a valuable resource: whether for thermal energy, strategic raw materials or treated as valuable drinking or industrial water. Our application centers for electrochemical water treatment show how this can work. Spread over five locations, Fraunhofer IKTS develops, analyzes and tests new ways to acidic water and closed material cycles.

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  • Fraunhofer IKTS wants to develop water, energy and nutrition technologies in the Future Factory in Lusatia for more sustainability in dealing with our earth.
    © pixabay.com

    How do we sustainably supply a growing human population on our planet with food, energy and water? How useful are decentralized, regional solutions for this? The vision of a future factory in Lusatia aims to provide answers to questions like these. In an interview, our experts Prof. Michael Stelter and Dr. Burkhardt Faßauer explain exactly how their water management concepts will be implemented.

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  • Author: Annegret Kolarow / 2021

    World Ocean Day 2021

    June 08, 2021

    World Ocean Day: For more sustainability in shipping.

    Global shipping, powered in most cases with toxic bunker fuel, is a pollutant which has received little attention. At IKTS, alternative, eco-friendly ship propulsion systems are being developed with stakeholders of the shipping industry.

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  • Author: Annegret Kolarow / 2021

    World Water Day 2021

    March 22, 2021

    Dr. Patrick Bräutigam, group manager Reaction Engineering Water, works in collaboration with the Universität Jena on a reactor for sonophotocatalysis for use in water treatment.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Even though the earth is known as the “blue planet”, only 2.5 % of its water is freshwater. And of this portion only a third can be used as drinking water. The resource is scarce and unevenly distributed: More than 2 billion people on earth live without access to clean water at home. To highlight this water crisis, the United Nations host World Water Day every year on March 22, accompanied by campaigns and activities of governmental and non-governmental organizations. We talked to Dr. Patrick Bräutigam, group manager of the working group “Reaction Engineering Water” at IKTS and head of the group “Water Technology” at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena about how research institutions can contribute to the fight against the water crisis, why the resource must also be protected in industrialized countries and which technologies will become relevant in the future.

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  • Dr. Sylvia Gebhardt in front of the screen printing machine.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    In a matter of life and death, every minute counts. If patients are treated on-site, for example at the scene of an accident, their chances of survival are increased significantly. To ensure that emergency physicians can make the right diagnosis quickly, mobile ultrasound equipment is used, among other things. This means that necessary treatment steps can be initiated at the scene of the accident.

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  • Author: Anika Peucker | Translation: Anna Knollmann, Stephanie Anderseck / 2021

    Residues of medication in our water: Can they be removed?

    January 20, 2021

    Illuminated ceramic foam for photocatalysis.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Fit and agile until old age. We all dream of it. However, the older people get, the more likely the need for medicines will rise. It is not only age but also the increase in mental and psychosomatic illnesses or the intake of hormones that increases the need for pharmaceutical preparations. And take a loot at our lifestyle: the use of antibiotics in factory farming for meat fattening does its own thing.

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  • Author: Fanny Ppohontsch | Translation: Anna Knollmann / 2021

    Less plastic is more

    January 20, 2021

    Fine powder: IKTS scientist Kathrin Oelschlägel shows by way of example how much microplastics decompose in the environment over time. However, it does not decompose.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Water covers two thirds of the earth's surface, making our earth the blue planet. Oceans and seas provide half of the oxygen we breathe and absorb one third of the carbon dioxide we produce. They control the climate, are economic and living space.

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  • Authors: Roland Wuchrer, Anika Peucker | Translation: Anna Knollmann / 2021

    Can German beer become even better?

    January 18, 2021

    The art of brewing is a thoroughly automated high-tech process.
    © pixabay.com

    We Germans love our "liquid bread". Especially in a sociable Christmassy round a blond is something fine! By the way: We Germans believe that we are THE beer nation. However, this is not quite true. Because at least as far as drinking is concerned, Czechs consume more. But where does beer come from? And can the rather perfect brewing process still be further optimized?

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  • Author: Anika Peucker | Translation: Anna Knollmann, Stephanie Anderseck / 2021

    Electricity from straw

    January 18, 2021

    Straw pellets for biogas production.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    So Rumplestiltskin's dream does come true after all! Straw can be turned into today’s gold: energy. As a biogenic waste material, straw contributes to a sustainable energy balance and supports the path towards energy production from predominantly renewable energies. It also reduces the amount of maize or other products that should be used to feed the world's hunger and not to provide energy. How is electricity produced from straw, you ask? Let us take a look at it.

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