In the context of sustainable development of our environment, economy and society, resource efficiency, i.e. the careful and efficient use of natural resources and the avoidance of socio-ecological negative consequences of resource consumption, plays a central role.
Plastics already make a significant contribution to resource efficiency in many areas of our lives - particularly noteworthy are the areas of housing (building insulation), transport (weight reduction of vehicles) and intelligent packaging (shelf life of food). But plastics have also become very important in renewable energy generation: numerous technological improvements and innovative new and further developments in wind power technology and solar technology are based on polymer materials. In terms of ecological properties (i.e. energy consumption, emissions, pollution and recyclability), plastics are superior to other materials in many applications. Plastics based on renewable raw materials, which are currently becoming more and more established on the market, further strengthen this aspect. However, increased use or further expansion of the resource efficiency potential of plastics requires constant further material developments and innovations as well as efficient and preferably permanent recycling.
To this end, the following topics are addressed in research work at the Department of Polymer Technology:
Innovative polymer materials for sustainable energy generation and storage
Technical biopolymers and green engineering with polymer materials
Waste prevention, end-of-life and recycling technology