Inorganic Materials and Recycling

Your competent partner when it comes to developing innovative and sustainable building materials

Our area of expertise “Inorganic Materials and Recycling” is divided into the two areas of “Building Materials Technology” and “Processing and Recovery,” uniting our know-how in mineralogy and solid state analytics as well as in conservation science and civil engineering. Our research focuses on the development of innovative and sustainable building materials, on processing waste concrete or building rubble and on preserving the substance of historical buildings. In addition to developing concrete formulations tailored to requirements and producing lightweight concrete, insulating materials and fiber-reinforced composites, we also develop cement-free building materials such as geopolymers. All concrete production processes can be carried out in our building materials laboratory - from developing formulations and optimizing mixtures through to determining the properties of fresh and hardened concretes. Another focus of our work lies in assessing the durability of building materials (e.g. their ability to withstand freeze-thaw cycles, alkali silica reaction), as well as in researching into chemical-physical mechanisms which could damage building materials.

Overview of expertise


Building materials

Our experts in the building materials laboratory handle all types of building materials, from lightweight and aerated concrete to plaster, bricks and cement-free materials. In order to produce innovative and recyclable building materials, we are increasingly concentrating on the use of raw materials based on organic matter and on inorganic residues from incineration processes.


Inorganic raw materials and recycled materials

We think holistically: because the choice of mineral raw materials from which a product is made already determines what will happen to it at the end of its useful life. This means either recycling it or, in the worst case, dumping it in landfills.


Testing and analysis

In our solid state analytics laboratory, we have a wide range of test methods available. This enables us to meet today’s ever-increasing demands regarding the analysis of the composition of raw materials as well as the durability and quality of building materials - from the macro scale down to the nano scale.



Recovering cement from waste concrete is no easy matter but the experts at Fraunhofer IBP already proved that this was feasible back in 2014. Electrodynamic fragmentation has made it possible to cleanly sort composites into their various constituents for further processing.


Sustainable binders

In the coming decades, the building materials industry will face the enormous challenge of significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the Paris climate targets. The development and use of sustainable binders to reduce CO2 will play a decisive role.