The lack of flexibility with regard to peak demand for electricity – both for consumers and producers – is a well-known problem as far as the production of electricity from renewable resources is concerned. Biogas plants present a particular challenge due to the complex and relatively slow microbial processes involved. A research project called FLEXIZUCKER at the Universities of Ulm and Göttingen aims to make biogas production more flexible and hence the supply of renewable electricity more grid- and market compatible.
Glass fibre-reinforced plastics have become an integral part of our everyday life: in cars, playground slides, swimming pools or on facades, such composites are used wherever stability is required. Unfortunately, both production and disposal are far from sustainable. Scientists from the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf have now developed an innovative material made from pure cellulose, which has practically the same basic mechanical properties as glass fibre-reinforced plastics, but can be produced simply and non-toxically, and is also fully recyclable.
Natural gas is a more climate friendly fuel than raw materials such as coal and petroleum. Nevertheless it is also a fossil fuel that generates anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In a collaborative project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, scientists and engineers are concentrating on finding out how biogenic residues and waste materials such as wood, sewage sludge and biomass mixtures can be turned into alternative gaseous fuels.