Specialty and fine chemicals

Modern industries require various chemical feedings for their products and processes of manufacturing. To date, there is already a large number of such compounds available, which are generally summarized to so-called specialty and fine chemicals. They are applied e.g. to aromatics in foods, to active components in pharmaceuticals or to additives in polymers. There is still a need to develop further chemicals with special characteristics for well-defined applications.

At Fraunhofer IGB, complex synthesis ad modern analysis methods are combined for manufacturing of new specialty and fine chemicals. Amongst others, the application of natural synthesis methods and the utilization of regenerative resources are especially focused. Regarding ecological and economical aspects, custom-made chemicals are produced in laboratory scale designated to function in sustainable industry processes.

Reference projects

CO2EXIDE – CO2-based Electrosynthesis of ethylene oxide

Project duration: January 2018 – December 2020

The goal of the project CO2EXIDE is the establishment of an electrochemical, energy efficient and near-to CO2-neutral process for the production of the bulk chemical ethylene from CO2, water and renewable energy. One of the central steps is the development of a new type of electrolyser that enables a simultaneous reaction on both anode and cathode, which is more efficient in terms of energy and resources.

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Terpenes as building blocks for biobased polyamides – TerPa

Project duration: April 2017 – March 2020

In the BMEL/FNR-funded project, new amorphous or semi-crystalline polyamides from waste of wood processing are developed for opening up new fields of application for high-performance materials.

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Cost-effective carbon dioxide conversion into chemicals via combination of Capture, ELectrochemical and Biochemical CONversion technologies – CELBICON

Project duration: March 2016 – January 2020

CELBICON aims at the development new CO2-to-chemicals technologies by conjugating CO2 capture, electrochemical CO2 conversion into intermediates and fermentation of these intermediates into value added chemicals.

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Bi-Amin – Producing amines more sustainably

Project duration: January 2016 – December 2017

Amines play an important role in the chemical industry. They are manufactured in a wide variety as building blocks for agricultural and pharmaceutical chemicals as well as surfactants, coatings and lubricants. Within the Bi-Amin project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Fraunhofer IGB and its project partners search for biotechnological reaction routes and catalysts which can make the production more sustainable.

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Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project "Electricity as a Raw Material"

Project duration: August 2015 – September 2018

The energy transition in Germany is in full swing. Renewable energy sources contributed 24 percent of the 630 TWh of electrical power generated in 2013. Their proportion is estimated to climb to 80 percent by 2050, while at the same time greenhouse gas emissions are expected to fall to 80 percent of the comparative 1990 figures. The associated expansion of wind power and photovoltaics will result in a considerably increasing rise of power available from fluctuating energy sources. As an industrialized country, Germany is confronting the pressing question of whether and how the expected excess in the electrical grid can be coupled cost-effectively to energy-intensive manufacturing operations.

Aromatic synthetic building blocks from lignin – Lignoplast

Project duration: March 2013 – January 2016

Aim of the project is to developing lignin as a source of raw materials for aromatic synthesis components. The required aromatic compounds are obtained by means of hydrolytic degradation of the macromolecular lignins and then functionalized chemically and enzymatically to make adhesives, paints, polyurethanes and epoxides.

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