Technology Offers Process Engineering

A strain and a method for high throughput of sugar for microbial conversion into organic synthesis products

By decoupling cell growth and productivity of biosynthesis the new method and associated Escherichia coli strain allow for an increase in productivity by a factor two to three.
This could not only be interesting for pharma industry, e.g. by increasing the capacity of insulation production, but for biotechnological synthesis of succinic acid as well. The demand for succinic acid as a component of plastics such as polyamides or polyesters is estimated to amount to 250,000 tons per year.



New process for creating storage-stable, 12-month non-perishable „ESL-H-Milk“

In order to increase the storage stability and shelf life of milk, a new treatment process has been developed at Hohenheim University, one that also requires comparatively low treatment temperatures.
The milk can be kept at room temperature for up to a year and yet impresses with its good sensory properties and low vitamin loss.



Efficient and low-cost water purification based on innovative, functional membrane coating

In cooperation with Italian partners, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences recently developed a new type of anti-fouling coating on membranes with scalable retention to improve the quality of purified water while reducing the costs involved in cleaning, maintaining and replacing the membranes. Pore sizes and thus separation efficiency and chemical properties of the novel PBM coated membrane surface can be individually adjusted to the composition of the water to be purified. The PBM coated ultrafiltration membranes were successfully tested in membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems using real wastewater.



Force constant adaptation of braided sleeving in the automated production of braided components

The Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) at the University of Stuttgart developed a flexible pressure roll mechanism for braiding machines, which significantly improves the automated braiding of components with sharp curvatures and widely varying cross-sections without the need for manual intervention. While overbraiding a mandrel the flexible mounting of the pressure rolls allows for adaptation to the mandrel's positioning (e.g. inclined position) and to changes in the cross section. They exert a constant and precisely defined force on the braid and thereby press it against the mandrel.
As part of the automated process, the robot control of the braiding machine coordinates the movement of the pressure rolls. This significantly improves the braiding of components with a variable cross-section and curvatures so that manual intervention is no longer required.



Variable number of threads in braiding machines

A new embodiment of a braiding machine was developed at the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) of Stuttgart University. It features a thread positioning unit which forms a secondary ring of horn-gears close to the braiding point. This secondary ring moves synchronously with the primary horn-gears of the braiding machine. Therefore, the position of each thread, that is close to the mandrel, is clearly defined. This is a basic requirement for manipulation of specific threads during the braiding process, which in turn permits the automated production of components with highly varying diameters at a constant braid angle.



Cellulose-based micro- and super-microfibres produced as continuous yarn suitable for weaving and knitting

A novel direct-wet-spin process was developed and patented by the German Institute of Textile Chemistry and Chemical Fibres (ITCF) in Denkendorf, which allows for the first time the cost-efficient production of micro- and supermicro-fibres of less than 0.1-0.5 dtex (fibre surface about 1 - 4 m2/g) from cellulose and cellulose-2.5-acetate in the form of a continuous fibre in a single-step process. The fibres can be stored as staple fibres or wound up as a continuous fibre for further processing.



Innovative nozzle design with homogeneous flow profile usable as divergent long-range nozzle with high penetration depth

A novel divergent nozzle design, which provides for a homogeneous flow profile even at long distances from the nozzle exit, was developed at the University of Stuttgart. The flow profile is optimized by a central body, shaped and placed in the flow channel in such a manner as to achieve a uniform flow and temperature distribution at the target object. Based on these characteristics, the invention is particularly suited to be used as a long range nozzle for large penetration distances in drying and ventilation applications.



New macro-porous ceramics and glass filters from capillary suspensions

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a novel, simple and potentially cost-saving production process for macro-porous ceramics. The process is based on the use of the capillary effect in a three phase suspension of nano- to micro-sized solid particulates. In this manner, it is possible to fabricate ceramics and polymer foams with macro-pores of diameter 50 nm or greater and narrow pore size distribution.



Heat forming with innovative in situ heating of inserts

An innovative, energy-saving heat forming method has been developed at the University of Stuttgart for the fabrication of thermoplastic molded parts, in particular fibre-reinforced composites from semi-finished products (organic sheets). The method provides a more effective and surface-preserving way of heating and forming semi-finished products. In addition, it is possible to achieve a process-integrated quality assurance, a documentation of the quality as well as an individual quality assessment.