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Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing
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SolPol-6 kick-off

The transition from fossil to renewable energy systems ...

Value chain

... is associated with a transformation from high temperature resistant materials to eco-efficient polymeric and hybrid materials, which could be manufactured from CO2 and H2. In the past few decades, polymeric materials have allowed for significant advances in renewable energy technologies (e.g., photovoltaic modules with polymer encapsulation, Li-ion accumulators with polymeric electrode binders and separators or energy efficient water treatment with polymeric membranes). Nevertheless, still over-engineered materials with poor eco-efficiency are widely used (e.g., fluoro polymers for backsheets of PV modules or membranes for energy recovery from water). These over-engineered materials are limiting the success in cost reduction, market penetration and recycling capability of products for the energy transition.

Based on the available scientific and industrial expertise in the field of renewable energy technologies and polymer technologies in Austria, it is the overall visionary goal of the present research proposal to foster and strengthen the worldwide leading position of the Austrian renewable energy industry by novel polyolefin (PO) based product developments and innovations. Therefore, these two fields of expertise and competences are combined in this research proposal giving special attention to synergistic effects of polyolefin material development for energy technologies and systems that are less wasteful of energy and materials. Overall, the research proposal aims at a major contribution in broadening renewable energy utilization in general, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Accounting for the overall goals, a collaborative industrial research project is proposed consisting of three interrelated work packages. By systematic and highly synergistic development of tailor-made and eco-efficient polyolefin (PO) materials, innovations in photovoltaics, thermal energy storage and energy efficiency will be realised. Specific subgoals are the development of cross-linking and functionalized polyolefin materials, hybrid laminates and membranes for glass-glass PV-modules, seasonal pit thermal energy storages and ammonia recovery from waste water. The collaborative industrial research project SolPol-6 includes the following work packages:

• PO-glass-PV: Development of functional PO compounds for encapsulation of glass-glass PV modules – Delamination resistant, reliable and recycling friendly PV modules replacing glass-foil modules with environmentally critical fluoro polymers or TiO2 pigments.

• PO-TES: Development of impact resistant PO materials and barrier laminates for seasonal pit thermal energy storages – easy to install and durable liners providing oxygen and water vapour tightness.

• PO-MEM: Development of e-beam cross-linked, functional hollow fiber PO membranes for energy efficient recovery of ammonia from waste water – PO based capillary membrane materials with performance (ion selectivity and fouling tendency) comparable to flat membranes made from environmentally harmful fluoro polymers.

For further information please follow the link https://projekte.ffg.at/projekt/4536703, opens an external URL in a new window

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