GREENTECH! - Research & Development

Saxony’s research institutes assume a leading position primarily in such key markets as, for example, renewable energy, energy storage as well as recycling management. It is in particular Freiberg which has firmly ensconced itself as a leading European venue for the development of innovative technologies designed to boost resource and energy efficiency.

"EIT RawMaterials" - Europe’s largest resource network

The Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (HZDR) coordinates together with the Fraunhofer Society the establishment of Europe’s largest resource network on behalf of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). Until 2022, a total of 410 million euros will be available for "EIT RawMaterials" with the objective of developing new procedures and products for the sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, and recycling of raw materials. The network will unite 116 universities, research centers, and companies from 22 countries. An important partner is also the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. The “EIT RawMaterials – Regional Center Freiberg” has been established here since September 2015. 

Reagenzgläser im Labor der TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Source: Freiberg University of Mining and Technology

Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Center (IÖZ)

The environmental research at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology is coordinated by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Center. The central institution also conducts its own research, for example, in the sectors biology, environmental microbiology as well as environmental management. For example, within the scope of the PhytoGerm research project launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the IÖZ investigates how the bioavailability of germanium and rare earths in soils and their absorption in plants can be used as a basis for phytomining. 

Together with the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology has developed a procedure which permits the environmentally friendly and economically profitable joint recycling of vacuum tube and LCD monitors. 

Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences

The top-notch research on environmentally topics at the Dresden University of Technology are pooled, for example, at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences with the disciplines Forest, Geo, and Hydro Sciences as well as at the Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering in the sectors Power Engineering as well as Process Engineering and Environmental Technology. At the Dresden Innovation Center Energy Efficiency, ten subprojects are jointly addressed by Dresden University of Technology and the Fraunhofer Society. 

Gewinnung und Aufbereitung von Metallen und Seltenen Erden mittels Mikroorganismen, Versuchsaufbau am Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie (HIF)

Source: Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf e. V. (HZDR) / Frank Bierstedt

Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF)

The Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) pursues the objective of developing innovative technologies for the economy so that mineral and metalliferous raw materials can be made available and used more efficiently and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. This applies equally to primary and secondary as well as domestic and international raw material sources. The institute, which was founded in 2011, belongs to the Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf and is being expanded in close cooperation with the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. 

Just to mention on research highlight: The HIF scientists analyze biotechnological processes for the extraction and processing of rare earths. Under the auspices of the HIF, the partners of the German-French financed „EcoMetals“ project seek to extract copper from old German, French, and Polish mine dumps as well as copper schist mines in this environmentally friendly, energy-efficient manner.

Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)

The Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) conducts research in the sectors energy, health, and matter. In its research program „Energy Efficiency, Materials, and Resources,“ for example, the HZDR seeks to improve the efficiency of industrial processes and to develop environmentally friendly technologies for the exploration, extraction, and utilization of raw materials. Another research focus is on such new storage technologies as liquid metal batteries with which it is possible to store large amounts of energy at relatively low costs. The research activities of the Institute of Resource Ecology are designed to protect humans and the environment against pollutants resulting from technical processes during energy production and raw materials extraction. The scientific work also includes geo and bio systems. 

Visualisierungszentrum (Vislab), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ) Leipzig

Source: Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), André Künzelmann

Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), LEIPZIG

At the Leipzig-based Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), scientists investigate the causes and consequences of the far-reaching changes in the environment. They address such research topics as, for example, water resources, biodiversity, environmental and bio technologies, bioenergy, and the impact of the climate change. The UFZ, which has more than 1,100 employees, has gained an excellent reputation around the globe as a leading center for environmental research. 

Center for Advanced Water Research (CAWR), Dresden

Together with Dresden University of Technology, the Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has been operating the Center for Advanced Water Research (CAWR), an alliance of university and non-university water research, since 2013. More than 500 highly qualified researchers from the fields of natural, engineering, social and economic sciences are jointly tackling some of the key challenges in the water sector. The research agenda ranges from topics such as quality in the water cycle, integrated water governance in arid and urban environments to socio-scientific aspects of water management or the societal and climate change.

Kältespeicher mit Vakuumeistechnologie des ILK Dresden, der 2014 an der Westsächsischen Hochschule in Zwickau in Betrieb ging.

Source: Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration gGmbH (ILK)

Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration gGmbH (ILK), Dresden

The Dresden-based Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration gGmbH (ILK) is committed towards research and development in the air handling and refrigeration technologies sectors. The key activities of the non-university research facility revolve around refrigeration and heat pump technology as well as applied energy technology. The ILK has developed, for example, the first cold storage system with vacuum ice technology. The system produces liquid ice via direct evaporation. The resultant ice slurry is a pumpable mixture of water and ice which can be stored in a simple buffer storage without integrating a heat exchanger and removed again for cooling purposes. 

German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ), LEIPZIG

The scientists at Leipzig’s German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ) are pioneers in tackling the question as to how the finite biomass resources can contribute to the existing, but primarily also to a future energy system in a sustainable and highly efficient manner. Towards this end, the DBFZ identifies, develops, accompanies, evaluates, and demonstrates the most promising fields of application for bioenergy both in theory and practice. This is accomplished together with partners from research, the economy, and the public at large. 

Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (IWS), Dresden

Researching electromobility as well as stationary energy storage systems is in the focus of the Dresden-based Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology (IWS). The institute conducts strategic research on technologies for the inexpensive mass production of lithium-ion batteries in a network with other partners. Their objective is the construction of a demonstration center which encompasses all the requisite steps ranging from the unwinding of electrode foils to the preparation of electrodes and separators all the way to the formation, joining, and welding of cell stacks in pouch foils. New material concepts for mobile energy storages are another research focus of the Fraunhofer IWS.

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP), Dresden

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP) is active in several branches of the environmental / energy sector. In Dresden, the Fraunhofer FEP works on highly productive vacuum technologies for organic and inorganic thin film solar cells, innovative lithiumion and thin film batteries as well as energy-efficient glazing and lighting. In addition, the Fraunhofer FEP develops a specific method of treating seeds with electrons further. This is an environmentally friendly technology. 

Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), Dresden

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) develops materials, technologies, and systems for water and air purification as well as for the recovery and refinement of valuable materials from waste products. Towards this end, the Dresden researchers are working on filters, catalytic converters, and sensors which are used for reducing the pollutants and improving the energy efficiency during industrial processes. The Fraunhofer IKTS also addresses ceramic filtration membranes. And the Fraunhofer IKTS is also a competent contact point when it comes to efficient energy technology. The requisite systems’ service spectrum ranges from portable fuel cells with an output of 1 watt all the way to stationary plants with outputs in the megawatt range. In the energy storage sector, the Fraunhofer IKTS conducts research on lithium-ion batteries, sodium cells as well as metal-air batteries and supercapacitors. 

Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig

The activities of the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig revolve around clouds and aerosols, i.e. the smallest airborne particles. Despite the fact that they only occur in minimum absolute amounts, these particles have a considerable impact on the climate, and they also influence human health (i.e. „fine dust“). In order to explain these processes and to develop the appropriate reduction strategies, the TROPOS conducts field studies in polluted regions around the globe, carries out lab experiments and modelings, and develops its own analytical methods. TROPOS is the contact point for politics, society, and science in the health and climate fields.

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Dresden

The Dresden-based Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) seeks to find solutions to create the scientific foundation for the sustainable, environmentally friendly development of cities and regions. The institute investigates the interactions between the natural environment and society as well as the available options for influencing them. With its innovative research and expert advice, the IOER contributes to the compatibility of human action and the development of the natural environment. 

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