Press releases | News

  • Clean technology for heavy industry / 2023

    Converting a steel mill to climate-neutral steel production

    Press release / December 01, 2023

    © Salzgitter AG

    Steel production causes significant emissions of carbon dioxide. To decarbonize steel production and its high CO2 emissions, Fraunhofer researchers, TS ELINO GmbH and Salzgitter AG are working on converting an existing steel mill to climate-neutral production methods. The aim is to produce steel by the direct reduction of iron ore with hydrogen, which would completely replace harmful coke as a reducing agent. The hydrogen required for this method is produced using electrolysis processes with electricity generated from renewable energy sources. Overall, this could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 97 percent. The decarbonization of the steel industry would therefore contribute significantly to protecting the climate.

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  • Piezoceramics shorten root canal treatments

    Press release / November 02, 2023

    When carrying out root canal treatment procedures, dentists need to insert a file deep into the root canal to remove the inflamed tissue. The rotating file often gets jammed and must be cleaned regularly. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS have developed a piezoceramic stack actuator that overlays the rotating motion with an axial vibration. The file does not get jammed as often, meaning that procedures on patients can be completed faster. This technology is also useful for other medical applications, for example in diagnostics and cancer treatment. Fraunhofer IKTS will present a demonstrator at the joint Fraunhofer booth at the COMPAMED medical engineering trade show in Düsseldorf (Hall 8a, Booth G10).

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  • Long-lasting batteries play an integral role in the energy turnaround and thereby in particular the electric transport turnaround. The German branch of battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology GmbH (CATL) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS are jointly developing models at the industrial site Erfurter Kreuz to predict the lifetime of batteries, which will serve as a basis for optimized battery production. The cooperation, which started in 2020 with the “BattLife” project, is now being continued and expanded in the project “BattForce”.

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  • © Shutterstock, Oleksiy Mark

    At around 28 %, the production of crude steel via the blast furnace route accounts for a large proportion of industrial CO2 emissions in Germany. This is why steel producers are working intensively on converting steel production to the direct reduction process. As one of the pioneers in this field, Salzgitter AG has already been working for six years in a consortium with the Fraunhofer Institutes IKTS, ISI and UMSICHT on how low-CO2 crude steel production can be realized using green hydrogen. In the two successive research projects “MACOR” and “BeWiSe”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), it has already been demonstrated that this approach can reduce CO2 emissions by at least 95 %. Supplemented by further measures, CO2-free steel production is thus possible. The technical conditions for a changeover and questions of acceptance were also investigated. As part of its SALCOS project, Salzgitter AG plans to convert conventional steel production via blast furnaces to the direct reduction process using hydrogen by 2033. Construction work for the gradual conversion has already begun and one third of the steel production capacity will already have been transformed to the low-CO2 process by 2026.

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  • © VARTA AG

    The balcony power plant is booming. But where to put the electricity generated when nothing is being consumed in the household? This is where rechargeable stationary energy storage systems come into play. Dual-ion batteries (DIB) do not contain any harmful metals and are made of materials that are available in Germany. This novel technology promises lower costs, safety, independence as well as sustainability.

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  • In the “KlimProMem” project, climate-neutral processes in the feedstock industry are being further developed – specifically, CO2 is to be separated from flue gases of waste incineration plants using membrane technology and soda ash production is to be used as a CO2 sink. For this purpose, membranes, plant and process concepts are being tested to enable climate-neutral and energy-efficient production of important basic materials. For gas separation, carbon membranes are being developed at Fraunhofer IKTS and scaled for use in large plants. In field trials, the developments of the project partners will be integrated and tested in two waste incineration plants. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the project as part of the funding objective “Avoidance of climate-relevant process emissions in industry (KlimPro-Industrie)” with approximately 1.5 million euros over three years.

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  • Vitamins from the roof

    Press release / September 19, 2023

    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Today, fruit and vegetables are transported thousands of kilometers to Germany. A team at Fraunhofer IKTS now wants to bring horticulture to the cities with efficient and compact water, energy and gas management – and thereby strengthen regional self-sufficiency.

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  • IKTS expands research cooperation with South Korea

    Press release / September 18, 2023

    Fraunhofer IKTS and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) plan to cooperate closely in industrial technology and innovation research. On September 18, 2023, Prof. Alexander Michaelis, director of Fraunhofer IKTS, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Saxony's Minister of Economic Affairs Martin Dulig and representatives of the Saxon Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport SMWA and the Saxony Trade & Invest Corporation with the Korean project management organization in Seoul.

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  • New products with multi-material 3D printing

    Press release / September 12, 2023

    © AMAREA Technology

    Multi-material 3D printing with technical materials has huge potential. For example, functionalized or functionally graded products can be printed within a single process in a resource-saving manner. This significantly shortens the process chain and reduces manufacturing costs compared to conventional production routes. In order to commercialize this promising technology, the developers of the multi-material jetting technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS founded AMAREA Technology GmbH. The spin-off has been active since February of 2023. The entrepreneurs act as system developers on the market and sell both the printing technology and the newly developed printing materials. The possibilities extend beyond technical ceramics: metals, hardmetals, glasses, composites, cermets and even polymers can be processed.

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  • On the way to clean aviation

    News / July 05, 2023

    © shutterstock/Sergey Novikov

    Aircraft fuel consumption can be reduced by lowering drag and wing weight. This is the goal set by the partners in the EU project HERWINGT on the road to climate-neutral aviation. The aim is to create a short-haul aircraft for up to 100 passengers that produces 50 % fewer emissions by 2035.

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