Solar energy from bioplastics 

More than ever, the responsible handling of resources is an issue which affects all of us. In this respect, the utilisation of solar energy has played an important role already for many years. Most recent research by the experts in the field of plastics engineering in Leoben now has the aim to use bioplastics for solar energy use in order to make a contribution to a consistently sustainable energy system.

In an international procedure for calling in expert opinion, the chair for materials science and examination of plastics of Montan University Leoben (WPK-MUL) and the Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL) convinced with their concept to explore the ranges of application and the potential of biogenic plastics, i.e. plastics based on regrowing raw materials and/or biodegradable plastics, as materials for solar energy use. In doing so, impulses for the development of absolutely new, innovative and particularly ecological and sustainable solution processes on a plastics basis for solar energy systems of the future as well as for the development of new, innovative fields of application and target markets for the upcoming bioplastics industry are given, says Dr. Katharina Resch, who initiated the project together with Dr. Gernot Oreski. The intended project results shall broaden the Austrian technology leadership in solar technology by innovative material aspects, moreover, they shall serve to initiate future-oriented and sustainable industrial research projects in the fields of photovoltaics and solarthermics. The project also perfectly fits in the joint research focus “bioplastics” of both project partners, which is conducted by Dr. Katharina Resch.

The plastics experts of Leoben in close cooperation with industry and science have already done research on the application possibilities of plastics in the field of photovoltaics and solarthermics for years. Besides the mentioned project, also two more highly remunerated projects in this field, dealing with related questions from the field of materials, could be gained this year already. For the Manager of the WPK-MUL Prof. Gerald Pinter and the PCCL-manager Mag. Martin Payer, these innovative approaches illustrate the enormous innovation potential of the material plastics as well as the competence established in the last years at the Plastics Technology Leoben.

Source: PCCL

Mag. Petra Oswald
Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH
Roseggerstrasse 12, 8700 Leoben
03842 / 42962 – 0;