Coordinated by Siegfried R. Waldvogel (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and Ulrike Krewer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), the ETOS network of academic and industrial partners has been formed with the aim of making the Electrification of Technical Organic Syntheses (ETOS) accessible to broad areas of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and operational on a technical scale. The ETOS network was able to convince the expert jury of the open-topic competition within the Zukunftscluster-Initiative of its high innovation potential, the social benefits and the current relevance of its topic. As one of 15 projects ETOS was recommended for the conception phase out of a total of 117 reviewed competition entries.
The worldwide demand for vanillin is not covered by natural deposits, the major part is obtained synthetically through a process that is harmful to the environment. Researchers at the Mainz University developed a process to produce vanillin from wood waste in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The team around Prof. Waldvogel uses an electroorganic method as a green alternative.
Vanillin aus Holzabfällen - 17:30live Rheinland Pfalz/Hessen
Paving the way for environmentally friendly electrochemistry
Carl Zeiss Foundation grants some EUR 2 million in funding to the ECHELON project at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Two projects within the Priority Programme “Bioelectrochemical and Engineering Fundamentals to Establish Electro-biotechnology for Biosynthesis – Power to Value-added Products (eBiotech)” (SPP 2240) have been accepted.
A sustainable method for generating vanillin from wood processing waste has been developed within the SusInnoScience framework in the Lab of Siegfried Waldvogel and it has been published by Zirbes et al. in 2020.
Sustainable chemistry as the key to innovation in resource-efficient science in the Anthropocene
The establishment of sustainable innovations and contributions to a circular economy represent the most important challenges for a future innovation-driven industrial society. Moreover, avoiding fossil carbon feedstock currently represents the most urgent issue within the Anthropocene. Here, sustainable chemical solutions open up a whole range of attractive options for challenges in raw material supply, energy conversion, chemical processes, and in materials science. The primary goal of this research initiative is the use of renewable raw materials, non-critical elements and the efficient use of renewable energies for the activation as well as conversion.
To achieve this goal, the Faculties 08 (Physics), 09 (Chemistry) and 10 (Biology) are working closely together. Biotransformations such as microbial activations and conversions will be combined with cutting-edge technologies such as electrosynthesis and photocatalysis. Critical elements, such as valuable and rare metals, are exchanged in magnetic storage and energy transformation devices. Fossil and limited resources are systematically avoided. Instead, waste streams and renewable feedstocks are used as carbon sources and common elements are used. Sustainable, green and as waste-free as possible processes, a circular economy, as well as innovative disruptive scientific and technological advances are targeted.