The rapid transfer of research results into products, processes and services is critical for the competitiveness of companies in the market. The practice of technology transfer shows that for interested users of research results often measured data, characteristics and laboratory models are not meaningful enough for allowing to estimate the application potential for the own development and production.
Application laboratories provide an active interface between science and industry. They provide comprehensive support for product and process development and help to translate research results into practical working models and demonstrators.
By operating of kow-how-intensive pilot plants at the ATB we provide valuable prerequisites for the development of industrial processes and equipment. Basis of our expertise are research results from extensive and ongoing research work.
Application lab: Processing of wet-preserved natural plant fibers
The aim is to significantly reduce costs and to ensure high product quality. The pilot plant allows the production of various fiber-based end products, eg high-density boards, which correspond in their mechanical properties of commercially available wood fiber boards. The raw material from fresh harvested plants can be used all year round. Residues do not occur. The system is designed for a throughput of 1 ton per hour preserved fiber material. Sub-processes, from preparation and storage to the production of various end products, can be parameterized in a wide range. In addition to wet preserved plant fibers such as hemp and flax, other fibrous wastes from agricultural production, and wood can be processed with different binders. Parts of the process are backed by intellectual property rights.
Application lab: Lactic acid for biopolymers
The focus is on the biotechnological production of lactic acid and other intermediates. Lactic acid in a polymerized form can be further processed to bioplastics. The aim is create a robust and economically competitive process for industrial applications based on a wide range of raw materials. Moreover, further intermediates can be developed, specifically tailored to the final product properties. The continuous process and the technical design of the down-streaming process implemented in the system offer unique opportunities. Parts of the process are protected by IP with ATB participation.
In joint projects particularly with SME partners, the potential uses of renewable resources will be further developed in an economically competitive environment with innovative technologies and products. Potential partners for technology transfer are:
- Producers of natural fibers or of lactic acid and other intermediates
- Developers and manufacturers of equipment and plant components for the processing and storage of raw materials for the implementation of the technological steps to the intermediate or final product
- User of semi-finished products from natural fibers or lactic acid with specific requirements for product parameters and processing characteristics
- Developers of innovative products
- counseling and problem evaluation in the selection and preparation of suitable raw materials
- consultation and problem evaluation in fixing appropriate product / or semi-product parameters
- process development
- adjustment of individual process steps on specific application requirements and, where appropriate, development of additional or alternative process components
- provision of system engineering for the production of product samples or test batches
- support in designing customer-oriented production