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BOKU

UNIVERSITAET FUER BODENKULTUR WIEN
Country: Austria
316 Projects, page 1 of 64
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101113395
    Funder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    In 2025 around 11 billion tonnes of plastic waste will pollute the environment. Therefore, a circular economy with biotransformation and biodegradation of oil-based plastics is as crucial as implementing biobased and biodegradable materials. Transforming lignocellulosic waste biomass into commercially valuable “green” materials is an emerging and promising way to minimize waste, substitute plastic and reduce our carbon footprint. As a waste resource, we suggest walnut shells, in which we discovered the interlocked 3-D puzzle cells. The homogeneity, the high surface area and the channels make these cells interesting for transformation into biodegradable bioplastic. We plan to dissolve the walnut shells in deep eutectic solvent to separate the cells, add water to regenerate lignin and recycle the solvent. The result of this closed process circle is a NUT slurry as a basis for our materials. To tailor and functionalize the composite for different applications we propose to add bacterial cellulose pellicles, a waste from kombucha fermentation or produced in bioreactors. The pure cellulose fibrils with high tensile strength are an exciting counterpart to the high lignin content pressure optimised puzzle cells. With different ratios of the two agri-residues we will tune the material properties for NUTplastic and NUTleather. Sustainable, energy and resource efficient, biodegradable NUTmaterials with a low carbon and environmental footprint are envisaged for the packaging and textile sector. The project activities comprise 1) development and characterisation of NUTleather and NUTplastic products at the demonstration level 2) life cycle analysis, cost of goods and carbon footprint, 3) define endusers, market analysis, potential industrial partner, buisness plan and IP strategy. We have a strong project team with highly motivated and experienced members with complimentary backgrounds and a solid wish to prove the puzzle cell performance in sustainable materials.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 624598
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 334104
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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 758149
    Overall Budget: 1,499,900 EURFunder Contribution: 1,499,900 EUR

    Recent global integrated modelling studies indicate low intensities in trade of energy commodities between global regions in a future low-carbon global energy system. Also, research based on modelling indicates that deep greenhouse-gas emission cuts are possible in fully electrified renewable energy systems on a continental or country scale from a techno-economic perspective. However, these modelling efforts partly neglect drivers of globalization and may therefore wrongly project regionalization of energy systems. In particular, (i) new, easily tradable, low-cost renewable fuels (e.g. solar & electric fuels), (ii) global bio-physical variability of renewables (e.g. solar radiation and freshwater availability), and (iii) regional differences in social land-use restrictions associated with the expansion of energy infrastructure can cause an increase of trade flows in the energy sector. We aim at better understanding how the spatial configuration of renewables in low-carbon energy systems is affected by these drivers and develop a cutting-edge, open-source global renewable energy model that combines elements of energy system and land-use modelling. It takes into account bio-physical conditions for renewable fuel and electricity production, social land availability restrictions, and a map of existing energy infrastructure at unprecedented level of detail. Our approach integrates open data sources from public institutions, user-generated GIS data, and social networks. Existing models for Europe and Brazil are used for validation. Qualitative interviews in local case studies complement the global model and increase our understanding of land-use restrictions on the local scale. Our project has impacts beyond energy systems analysis: in particular the identification of winning and losing regions in a global renewable energy system is highly relevant in climate change mitigation negotiations, and the generated spatial indicators and maps enable many potential applications.

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  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 754890
    Overall Budget: 150,000 EURFunder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    Composite polymer materials are a rapidly growing market. These materials are also strongly driving device and product innovation by allowing creation of multifunctional, light-weight and moldable components for various products from airplanes to electronics and textiles. We have invented new methods for scalable production of inorganic nanomaterials that allow us to control their distribution and properties in polymer materials. In short, we can mask functional nano- or microparticles by a thin surface coating such that it assumes the properties of the polymer (or environment) in which it should be processed. Thereby, they can be controllably mixed and organized into the polymer, which is essential to give the polymer material better or additional e.g. mechanical and optical properties. Our methods are nearly universal and cost effective; they incorporate an innovation that allows us to modify the surface of quantum dots and other nanoparticles with very precise optic, electric and magnetic properties without deleterious effect on those properties. Industrial partners from the polymer materials industry have shown great interest in these developments. In NanoComSol we will develop industrially relevant application demonstrators that show how these innovations can further be used to create composite materials that have qualitatively new properties produced at industrial scale. Successful such demonstrations will lead to manufacturing of polymer composite materials as active instead of only passive optical, electrical and magnetic components, while reducing costs, environmental impact and materials use in production. NanoComSol thus applies ERC-funded innovations in nanomaterial synthesis to develop industrial scale production of advanced functional materials.

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