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The project “Functionalization of Natural Fibres for the Creation of New Applications” takes a research-based approach in solving problems and remedying shortcomings by modifying the surface qualities of natural fibres modularly adaptable to the manufacturing process at hand and by producing natural fibre-based materials for efficient air and water purification. In order to achieve this, we plan to investigate, research and develop the functionalization of natural fibres (NF), including cellulose-based fibres.

The project pursues research in two focal areas:

  • Refinement of fibre-matrix adhesion and optimization of semi-finished materials: Optimization of semi-finished products and fibre-matrix adhesion during the production of thermoset NFC components; this includes the development of a modularized and scalable functionalization chemistry as well as its application and optimization.
  • Development of natural fibre-based filter materials for air and water purification: Development of NFC for water and/or air purification, in particular the further development of mixed-matrix membranes to combine filtration and adsorption with the aim of high permeability at high selectivity. A higher sustainability of NF processes should be achieved through methods of materials recycling (eg phosphate).

The two focal research areas are closely linked to the research done in our LaNDER3 impulse projects. A stable transfer of data and knowledge ensures that all fundamental questions are answered taking the practical requirements into account. The involvement and cooperation with partners from the world of science ensures that scientific requirements and standards are observed. Ultimately, the exploratory project has been designed to lay down the starting conditions for other impulse projects during the intensification phase in the context of the “UAS Impulse Programme” (beginning in 2021).

We have also been investing in new lab technology. Among other equipment, we now have a twin-screw extruder at our disposal that allows us to research new composites in a very practical way. We are currently in the process of preparing an experimental setup for air filtration and have already acquired a mass spectrometer for a real-time analysis of exhaust flows.

Please check back here later as we’ll update this page with new developments in our project.