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Green plastics

Eliminating the use of fossil raw materials in the production of polymers - with a current global production of more than 350 million metric tons per year - would contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Fraunhofer approaches this problem with an innovative dual strategy. Firstly, new biobased polymer building blocks are produced via fermentation, i.e. by microbial or enzymatic processes. Secondly, the food used by the microorganisms is not scarce biomass but rather formate, which in turn is derived from climate-harmful CO2. The entire process chain is being developed, starting with the development of the microorganisms and adaptation of the fermentation, through to the purification of the target substances, the reactor design and the energetically optimized, continuous polycondensation process.

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Green monomers

In the technology field of green monomers, two parallel technology pathways are being developed for the resource- and energy-efficient synthesis of butadiene from bioethanol. This is achieved using a novel, efficiently controllable ohmic reactor and innovative, inductively heatable catalyst structures. Furthermore, the electrochemical hydrogenation of dialdehydes or dicarboxylic acids - obtained from renewable raw materials - will be established. Both suitable catalysts and customized processes will be implemented and evaluated.

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Efficient building blocks

In the use case of efficient building blocks, several partner institutes are jointly developing a modular continuous process technology for point-of-use and on-demand delivery of highly reactive reagents for downstream reaction processes. In the field of fine and specialty chemicals, this enables the realization of atom-efficient organochemical syntheses and significantly shortened synthesis paths. By this method, significant reductions are achieved in both waste volumes and energy and solvent consumption.

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