The environmental sector is being confronted with the growing challenges of climate change, environmental pollution and the consequential need for sustainable process chains and materials, as well as increasing digitalization. Prompt developments in technologies and strategies for coping with environmental damage and climate-change impacts are necessary in order to mitigate the resulting effects on future social and economic development.
Within the framework of the water, energy and food-security nexus, the Fraunhofer IST is developing, in interdisciplinary teams, sustainable processes and systems for water treatment and disinfection. We use diamond electrodes in order to generate highly effective oxidants in the water which can eliminate trace substances or prevent the formation of biofilms. With diamond-like carbon coatings, we protect the surfaces of valves or heat exchangers in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries against fouling. Our electrochemical systems generate ozonated water in order to combat soil-borne pests or plant parasites without additional chemicals, thereby increasing crop yields. Furthermore, we utilize photocatalysts for water and air purification and evaluate their effectiveness in the laboratory as well as in the field.
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