Chemical processes

 

Starting materials for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries from lignin, renewable energy and CO2

The focus is on the development of chemical processes for the production of bio-based primary, fine and platform chemicals and petrochemical products for further processing in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. The educts of these processes form alternative sources such as lignin, renewable energies, stream-based H2 and CO2 from flue gases or after adsorption from the air.

In addition to the development and transfer of new process concepts from laboratory to pilot plant scale, the optimization of material and energy efficiency plays an important role. During development, process steps can be optimised, energetically considered and balanced by theoretical considerations and process simulation.

 

Lignin added value

In order to operate sustainable and economic biorefineries, the conversion of lignin into high-quality products is essential. Various processes for the modification and depolymerization of lignin are examined and scaled, which maintain or increase the structure and functionality of lignin. In this way, new, previously inaccessible aromatic structures with new functionalities and thus a new range of services are identified that can be used in a variety of industrial applications.

 

Biogenic epoxy resin systems

Up to now, two-component adhesives with one resin and one hardener component have been based on petroleum. We are developing biobased vegetable oil epoxides as an alternative to the resin component, for example from linseed or dragonhead oil.

 

Electricity-based fuels and chemicals

The current focus is on the use of "green" hydrogen in sustainable synthesis processes, e.g. for the chemocatalytic conversion of CO2 into platform chemicals and fuels. For this purpose, we are developing electrolyzers and synthesis processes, which are being demonstrated on a pilot scale on the electrolysis test and trial platform ELP in Leuna.

 

Downstream processing

This area includes the development of processes for the purification and downstream processing of product mixtures. For custom applications, new downstream processes are developed, scaled and evaluated. The industrial feasibility of the process is already evaluated and optimized on a laboratory scale.

 

Process design and plant engineering

Using modern simulation tools (CHEMCAD, Aspen), together with our project partners we evaluate the developed processes with regard to their energy and raw material efficiency, plan and construct plants and put them into operation.