Circular economy

Increasing the recyclability of components and structures through material and process innovations

The sustainable use of resources in the manufacture, use and disposal of a product is not only determined by legislation, but is also demanded within society. In industry, therefore, methods for conserving resources and avoiding a linear economy, or the establishment of a circular economy, are in demand along the value chain. 


Focus on substitution of petrochemical raw materials and efficient raw material extraction

Based on its core competencies, Fraunhofer IFAM develops methods, materials, and processes for building sustainable energy and material flows, thus contributing to the development of a circular economy. In doing so, the institute covers a broad spectrum:

  • use of renewable raw materials for the production of high-quality polymer systems  
  • development of recyclable and detachable adhesive bonds 
  • end-of-life assessment, e.g. of batteries  
  • efficient lithium extraction through mine water extraction 
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in the context of component development and material selection

Today, the substitution of petrochemical raw materials is a particular focus of public attention. The activities of Fraunhofer IFAM are manifold and range from the resin matrix to the catalyst. In addition to the research and development of biobased raw materials, the recycling of renewable raw materials is also playing an increasing role.


Consulting for technology transition

In addition, our experts deal with questions concerning the acceptance of technology changes (e.g. in the area of electromobility) or the optimization of funding programs for rapid technology change. Fraunhofer IFAM can carry out life cycle assessments to accompany and evaluate developments. 

This means that the institute is not only a preferred contact for the development of materials and processes which can be recycled, but also supports its customers and partners in technology assessment and design and can advise on technology transition.