From waste to raw material - green molecules for chemistry

A sustainable society, the renunciation of fossil raw materials, climate-neutral processes - the chemical industry has also committed itself to these goals. For the industry, this means a huge challenge within the next few years and decades. This structural change can succeed if all activities - from the raw material base to material flows and process technology to the end of a product's life cycle - are geared toward the goal of sustainable value creation. The key to this is innovation.

The Fraunhofer lighthouse project "Waste4Future" is making a decisive contribution to this transformation to Chemistry 4.0. Seven institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are pooling their expertise in this project to increase energy and resource efficiency in the use of plastics in particular. In the lighthouse project, new possibilities are being created for recycling, from which high-quality starting materials are produced. The resulting solutions will make it possible to recycle the carbon contained in plastics. Instead of contributing to global warming in the form of CO2 or polluting the environment as plastic waste, it will be available as a "green" resource for the chemical industry.

"Waste4Future" thus paves the way for a carbon circular economy in which valuable new basic molecules are extracted from plastic waste and emissions are largely avoided: Today's waste becomes tomorrow's resource, thus at the same time reducing industry's dependence on imported primary carbon resources such as oil and natural gas.