Environment

  • 3D Sonar Technology Made in Germany - High-resolution 3D imaging on short distances

    Real-time 3D sonar camera. Fraunhofer IBMT.

    The technology of sonar is used for many years in the field of seafloor mapping, in the fishery industry or for the search for sunken objects. By the help of new 3D sonar systems of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, these tasks can be accomplished more efficiently and precisely. The Business Unit Sonar concentrates research and development activities in the field of acoustic underwater measurements. One focus is on the high-resolution volumetric sonar imaging at distances up to 25 m.

    The Fraunhofer IBMT exhibits at this year's OCEANS conference in Aberdeen from June 19-22, 2017 (Booth No. 4).

  • 8th NRW Nano Conference Dortmund, Open Call for Presentations and Posters

    NRW nanoconference 2018

    The NRW Nano Conference is Germany’s largest conference with international appeal in the field of nanotechnologies. It takes place every two years at changing locations. More than 700 experts from science, industry and politics meet for two days to promote research and application of the key technology at the network meeting.

  • A better understanding of nanomaterials

     Petascale Simulations of Self-Healing Nanomaterials | by Argonne National Laboratory.

    In the past six years, the National Research Programme “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials” (NRP 64) intensively studied the development, use, behaviour and degradation of engineered nanomaterials, including their impact on humans and on the environment.

    Twenty-three research projects on biomedicine, the environment, energy, construction materials and food demonstrated the enormous potential of engineered nanoparticles for numerous applications in industry and medicine. Thanks to these projects we now know a great deal more about the risks associated with nanomaterials and are therefore able to more accurately determine where and how they can be safely used.

  • A Transparent and Thermally Stable Polyamide – 100 Percent Biobased

    From wood waste to high-performance polymers: Terpenes from turpentine are converted to bio-based, transparent and heat-stable polyamides under application of a new catalytic process. Fraunhofer IGB

    The natural substance 3-carene is a component of turpentine oil, a waste stream of the production of cellulose from wood. Up to now, this by-product has been incinerated for the most part. Fraunhofer researchers are using new catalytic processes to convert 3-carene into building blocks for biobased plastics. The new polyamides are not only transparent, but also have a high thermal stability.

  • Biological Risk Potential of Nanoparticles Studied

    Two CD34+ stem cells containing carbon nanoparticles (coloured magenta); the cell nuclei can be seen in blue. The researchers found that the nanoparticles are encapsulated in the cell lysosomes. HHU / Stefan Fasbender

    Publication in Scientific Reports

    Carbon nanoparticles are a promising tool for biomedical applications, for example for targeted transportation of biologically active compounds into cells. A team of researchers from the Physics, Medicine and Chemistry departments at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now examined whether these particles are potentially dangerous for the organism and how cells cope with them once they have been incorporated. The findings of the interdisciplinary study have just been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

  • Building the City of Tomorrow together

    Key Visual_Building the City of Tomorrow  BMBF

    Kick-off event marks start of the BMBF’s international campaign “Shaping the Future – Building the City of Tomorrow”. German research networks are looking for inter-national partners worldwide to join their projects for sustainable urban development.

    Bonn, 9 February 2017 Today there are already more people living in cities than in rural regions. This trend is set to continue.

  • Call for Paper – Panacea Green Infrastructure?

    ILS - Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung

    The international conference addresses the multiple functions of green infrastructure in the sustainable transformation of cities. It aims to critically reflect the planning and implementation of green infrastructure in cities and regions across Europe. Particular attention is paid to the long-term management of green infrastructure against the background of recent economic trends in spatial development on the one hand, and new approaches of participation and empowerment on the other. Thus, the conference aims to introduce the concept of green infrastructure into political debates based on a critical review of conceptual discussions as well as planning practice.

  • CalLab PV Modules Increases Measurement Precision to a Record 1.3 Percent

    Test stand developed at Fraunhofer ISE for measuring bifacial PV modules. Fraunhofer ISE

    The calibration laboratory at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has achieved a best value: Photovoltaic modules can now be calibrated with an even higher measurement precision of 1.3 percent. Repeatability lies at 0.4 percent. Measurement precision is a decisive factor for quality assurance in the module production and for investments in PV plants. For a volume of 10 MW, for example, each percentage point increase in measurement precision corresponds to a monetary value of about 60,000 euros. “Maximum measurement precision is not just an academic exercise, rather it greatly helps gain the confidence of investors,” says Dr. Harry Wirth, division director of Photovoltaic Modules, Systems and Reliability. Module manufacturers have to maintain their quality assurance at a high level daily and guarantee their sold output. Power plant operators must know the module power as exact as possible in order to minimize yield uncertainty.

  • Cooperation with Namibia underway for new materials for industrial applications

    f.l.: Gerhard Wenz, Saar Uni, Bernd Reinhard, INM, Günter Weber, INM, Erold Naomab, UNAM, Kenneth Matengu, UNAM, Aránzazu del Campo, , INM, Roland Rolles, Saar Uni, Carsten Becker-Willinger, INM. Sourec: INM

    The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials officially began its collaborative effort with the University of Namibia (UNAM) by holding a kick-off workshop. The aim of the joint project, NaMiComp, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, is to analyze Namibia’s locally available natural resources and then use them as a basis for new materials for industrial applications. INM and UNAM are working together on the NaMiComp project in order to establish and strengthen research competence in materials science at UNAM. In the long term, the aim is to build an on-site materials science institute at the University of Namibia.

  • Corrective glass for mass spectrometry imaging

    Custom-built laser source for mass spectrometry imaging: By means of the improved LAESI technique the surface of this coarse piece of savoy cabbage can now be chemically analyzed. Benjamin Bartels / Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

    Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now improved mass spectrometry imaging in such a way that the distribution of molecules can also be visualized on rippled, hairy, bulgy or coarse surfaces. The source of the laser-based technique was custom-built to accommodate the topography of non-flat samples. By employing a distances sensor, a height profile of the surface is recorded before the actual chemical imaging. The new tool can be used for answering ecological questions from a new perspective.

  • Defense mechanism employed by algae can effectively inhibit marine fouling

    Illustration of the mode of action of bioinspired underwater paints: Like the natural enzyme vanadium bromoperoxidase cerium dioxide nanoparticles act as a catalyst for the formation of hypobromous acid from bromide ions (contained in sea water) and small amounts of hydrogen peroxide that are formed upon exposure to sun light yielding reduced biofilm formation. ill./©: Tremel research group, JGU

    Cerium dioxide nanoparticles block communication between bacteria and prevent the formation of biofilms

    Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have developed a method that reliably hinders hazardous seawater fouling and is effective, affordable, and easy on the environment. Fouling can occur, for example, as the result of the growth of bacteria, algae, or mollusks in harbor facilities, on boat hulls, and aquaculture netting. The resultant damage and consequential costs can be significant. It is estimated that these are equivalent to 200 billion dollars annually in the shipping industry alone.

  • DFG Funding: An Atom Trap for Water Dating

    Atom trap wherein 39Ar atoms are captured and detected. Florian Freundt, Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University

    A Heidelberg physics project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) will focus on a new type of dating method for use in the earth and environmental sciences. The research team will deploy a special radioactive isotope of the noble gas argon (Ar) for the purpose of water dating. This isotope is useful for determining age in the range of 50 to 1,000 years. Prof. Dr Markus Oberthaler of the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics and Prof. Dr Werner Aeschbach of the Institute of Environmental Physics of Heidelberg University will direct the three-year project.

  • Efficient and Flexible – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Innovations in Storage at Energy Storage Europe

    The test cell has been successfully implemented in research projects at Fraunhofer ISE and duplicated for project partners. Fraunhofer ISE

    The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is presenting innovative solutions and projects on renewable energy storage and grid integration at the Energy Storage Europe, the leading international trade fair for storage in Düsseldorf, Germany from March 13-15. Fraunhofer ISE is presenting at a joint booth of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance (Hall 8b, booth B39). Parallel to the trade fair, the 12th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES) and the 7th Energy Storage Europe Conference (ESE) are taking place.

  • Efficient extraction of oil vapours in industry

    During cold rolling of aluminium, the required fan power can be halved by a new extraction hood.  © Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co. KG

    Before aluminium is transformed into metal sheets and foils, the metal passes through several hot and cold rolling processes. Sprayed roller oil cools and lubricates the work rolls and prevents damage occurring to the thin metal strips during the processing. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure entitled "Extracting fumes in rolling mills" (05/2017) presents a new extraction hood for the vaporised rolling oils. It has been calculated that this system will enable a typical rolling mill to save up to 330,000 kWh of electrical energy per year.

  • Faculty of Engineering is doing research for the energy transition

    Marius Langwasser, Marco Liserre and Giovanni De Carne work at the Chair of Power Electronics on the ENSURE research project.  Raissa Nickel/CAU

    600,000 Euro project started at Kiel University
    Nicolaus Copernicus established a new world view in the 16th century. Suddenly, the earth was no longer the centre of the universe. Similarly, the energy transition represents a paradigm shift for our society, not only nationally, as Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka emphasised on the occasion of the Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015: “It could establish itself internationally as the guiding principle for ending our use of energy produced from fossil fuels.”

  • Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets

    Organic particles are ubiquitous in air pollution. The new study reveals when and where these particles are liquid, viscous or solid. The picture shows an extreme haze event over ci. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response

    Glassy solid particles can facilitate long-distance atmospheric transport of hazardous organic pollutants. Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are formed upon oxidation of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. They account for a large fraction of fine particulate matter and have a strong influence on regional and global air quality. Traditionally, SOA particles were assumed to be oily liquid droplets. Depending on chemical composition, temperature, and humidity, however, SOA particles can also adopt a glassy solid phase state, as revealed in recent studies.

  • Heating and cooling with environmental energy

    The technical centre “Gebäude G” at the Biberach University of Applied Sciences. Different types of TABS are built-in here. The building is used for research and teaching.   © Hochschule Biberach. Institut für Gebäude- und Energiesysteme, Stefan Sättele

    Environmental energy provides an efficient way to supply energy to non-residential buildings such as office and administration buildings, educational and recreational facilities as well as industrial sheds. The buildings can be efficiently heated and cooled using the combined use of thermo-active building systems and heat pumps. Across 24 pages, the new BINE-Themeninfo brochure entitled "Efficiently heating & cooling non-residential buildings" (II/2016) presents low-exergy concepts for these buildings.

  • How Safe is Graphene?

    Biological effects under the microscope. Empa

    Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.

  • HZB Researchers are Used to Boost the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells

    Principle of a silicon singlet fission solar cell with incorporated organic crystalls. M. Künsting/HZB

    The efficiency of a solar cell is one of its most important parameters. It indicates what percentage of the solar energy radiated into the cell is converted into electrical energy. The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29.3 percent due to physical material properties. In the journal Materials Horizons, researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and international colleagues describe how this limit can be abolished.

  • International health experts adopt joint call to action

    World Health Summit.

    World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2017 – North America, Montreal

    Montreal, May 09, 2017 — On Tuesday, the World Health Summit Regional Meeting concluded in Montreal with more than 80 speakers and 700 international experts from all health-related sectors and a joint call to action.

    At the closing ceremony the M8 Alliance, the World Health Summit’s academic think tank, issued a declaration calling for joint action of health experts and stakeholders worldwide.