Our press releases provide information concerning current topics relating to the Fraunhofer WKI. Images may only be used in conjunction with the press release. Any other usage must be agreed with the initiator. Please always state Fraunhofer WKI as the image source unless otherwise indicated. In the case of media coverage, we kindly request that you send us a specimen copy. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Press releases

  • Professor Libo Yan produces flax fabric reinforced polymer composite - wood hybrid structure by means of the vacuum infusion process.
    © Fraunhofer WKI

    The International Institute for FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) in Construction (IIFC) has honored Professor Libo Yan, PhD, with the IIFC Distinguished Young Researcher Award 2021. The Senior Scientist at the Fraunhofer WKI has received the award for his contributions to the application of FRP composites to civil infrastructure, and especially for the promotion of natural FRP composites.

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  • A new office building is being constructed on the Ahlem Campus at the Fraunhofer WKI's Hanover location.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | René Schaldach

    A new office building, currently under construction in Hanover, will bring the Fraunhofer WKI “Application Center HOFZET®” and the “IfBB - Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites” of the Hochschule Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts even closer together in the future.

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  • Press release / 2021

    Professor Tunga Salthammer receives the “Pettenkofer Gold Medal”

    Braunschweig / June 29, 2021

    Portrait photo of Professor Salthammer, taken at the Fraunhofer WKI.
    © Hanno Keppel

    An exceptional honor for scientists at the Fraunhofer WKI: Professor Dr. Tunga Salthammer has been awarded the “Pettenkofer Gold Medal” by the Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ). The Head of the Material Analysis and Indoor Chemistry department thereby receives the Academy's highest accolade.

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  • Exterior view of the ZELUBA® building.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    The Fraunhofer WKI is expanding its research capacities: The “Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®” has been built on the campus of the Technische Universität Braunschweig – in the immediate vicinity of the university's building institutes. At the beginning of June 2021, the researchers move into the new premises where they will develop sustainable lightweight construction solutions for the building industry – in a future-oriented building. The background to this has been formed by global challenges such as climate change, population growth and large transnational migration flows, which place new demands on the functionality and ecological footprint of buildings.

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  • Aerial view of the Fraunhofer WKI buildings on the main campus in Braunschweig.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Stephan Thiele

    For 75 years, the Fraunhofer WKI, has been researching resource-saving and climate-friendly materials for a future worth living in. The researchers develop modern technologies in order to convert wood and other plant-based raw resources into chemical products and materials and consequently drive forward the bioeconomy. Possible applications range from lightweight components for vehicles, through environmentally-friendly insulating materials and hybrid material systems for the construction industry, and on to plant-based paints and adhesives.

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  • Press release / 2021

    Old bakery products as a basis for bioplastics and the chemical industry

    Braunschweig / April 15, 2021

    In the upper image, old rolls and cakes can be seen. The picture below shows various powdery, crumbly and aqueous solutions on two spoons and in two vessels, illustrating HMF in the various processing steps.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau

    Plastics from unsold baked goods: Researchers have succeeded in extracting the basic chemical hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from old bakery products. HMF provides a starting material that can replace, for example, formaldehyde in bio-based adhesives. Furthermore, HMF can be used to produce bio-based plastics. The Fraunhofer WKI and the University of Hohenheim were successful in preparing HMF for further processing on a semi-industrial scale.

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  • A car door is positioned behind mats made from flax and a glass jar containing resin.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Federico Böhm

    In automobile racing, lightweight bodies made from plastic and carbon fibers have been standard for many years because they enable drivers to reach the finish line more quickly. In the future, lightweight-construction solutions could help reduce the energy consumption and emissions of everyday vehicles. The catch is that the production of carbon fibers is not only expensive but also consumes considerable amounts of energy and petroleum. In collaboration with Porsche Motorsport and Four Motors, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have succeeded in replacing the carbon fibers in a car door with natural fibers. This is already being installed in small series at Porsche. The project team is now taking the next step: Together with HOBUM Oleochemicals, they want to maximize the proportion of renewable raw materials in the door and other body parts - using bio-based plastics and paints.

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  • Graphic representation of the ceiling system module with six individual elements (boxes) placed next to one another.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Steffen Sydow

    During BAU ONLINE 2021, the researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting possibilities for incorporating renewable raw materials such as wood foam, balsa wood and flax fibers into future-oriented applications. By means of 3D models of a stand-up paddleboard and a ceiling system module, the researchers will demonstrate the versatility of the possibilities for replacing petrochemical raw materials or concrete with renewable resources.

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  • Graphic representation of the body of a stand-up paddleboard.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Christoph Pöhler

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are developing a stand-up paddleboard with a lightweight sandwich element made from renewable raw materials. For the core, balsa wood from disused wind-energy rotor blades is being used - a sustainable solution for their high-quality recycling. The outer shell consists of bioplastics which are reinforced with regionally available flax fibers.

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