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These disciplines form the basis of a variety of everyday commodities, such as additives for cosmetics, foodstuffs, and a variety of materials. The production, usage, and disposal of these goods raise a number of ecological issues. A comparative ecological assessment of materials calls for a comprehensive approach that covers the entire life cycle. Likewise, effective optimization potential in production or application can be identified by taking such a wider focus.
Highly diverse processes and routes taken in the production of basic chemical materials, whether on a mineral or biological basis, require all-round knowledge of the technologies used in order to make statements about ecological impact. The great variety of substances and the high degree of networking of production in the chemicals industry require experience and access to an extensive database for a quantitative assessment of the environmental impact of a product. Evaluation of the diverse technologies, different production routes, and their ecological weak points calls for knowledge of the basic operations and the specific technical aspects of the processes. In the development phase of a product, only little information about the future process chain is normally available. This is particularly relevant for biotechnologically manufactured products, as it is in this phase that the course is set for ecologically sustainable production routes.
The Life Cycle Engineering Department has gladly taken on all these challenges since 1989, thereby supporting enterprises, authorities, and other research facilities in the comparative analysis of technical options and in identifying potential for the improvement of products and processes.