Fraunhofer Institutes

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT carries out research and development work which is both of direct use to industry and of benefit to society. The core competences are the chemistry of energetic materials, energetic systems, environmental engineering, polymer engineering and applied electrochemistry. Part of our mission is the development of new materials and products, chemistry and polymer processes, process monitoring, synthesis and characterisation, and life-cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact from the raw materials to the products.

The life Cycle Assessment of the mixed plastic waste railway sleeper

An international cooperation between Brazil and Germany called "The Life Cycle Assessment of the Mixed Plastic Waste from Railway Sleepers" (the "Railwaste Project) of the Fraunhofer ICT represented an opportunity for a foreign doctoral student from the Energy Planning Program (PPE) of the Graduate School of Research in Engineering (COPPE) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) to join publicly funded projects through temporary work with and at the ICT. 6 months' funding was provided jointly by Fraunhofer, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Brazilian National Oil Agency (ANP – scholarship given to some PPE students), during the second semester of 2008. From this cooperation two joint papers were published, at the Life Cycle Management 2009 – 4th International Conference in South Africa and at the EnviroPlas 2010 in Brussels.

The aim of this cooperation was to evaluate the environmental impact of the whole life cycle of the plastic sleepers in comparison to wood sleepers used in Germany and in Brazil. To compare the environmental performance of both sleepers, especially the greenhouse gas emissions, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) investigated the balance of the resources consumed from the sleepers’ production process until their final destination. From the LCA study it was possible to identify positive and negative environmental aspects of each railway sleeper.

Cooperation between the Fraunhofer-ICT, SENAI-CIMATEC and the THEOPRAX Foundation

A recent cooperation in the technological-educational area involved SENAI-CIMATEC, the THEOPRAX Foundation and the Fraunhofer ICT. The aim of the project was the introduction of the THEOPRAX learning and teaching methodology (theory + practice) in Brazil. The project was financed by SENAI.

The pilot-project involved 2 Brazilian states (Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul) and involved the training of SENAI technical academic staff. The introduction of the methodology was carried out by members of the THEOPRAX Centre from Pfinztal, who led initial training sessions with the academic staff of SENAI.
The Fraunhofer ICT offers assistance for enterprises and organisations from diverse industrial sectors in the form of contract research or collaborative cooperation co-financed by governmental agencies (national and international).

The four business areas are:

  • Automotive and transport technology
  • Chemistry and pharmaceutics
  • Energy and environment 
  • Defense, safety and security, aeronautic/aerospace