Chair of Waste Management and Emissions

Resource Management and Industrial Waste - RIK

Resource management, food waste, waste sorting analyses, material flow balancing, phosphorus recovery

Research

Regarding questions from municipalities and industry, the department deals with the balancing of material flows as well as the development of management systems and technical procedures for the avoidance, recycling and treatment of waste and residual materials with the aim of transferring waste management into real recycling and resource management.

Our research focuses are:

  • Balancing of food waste and avoidance strategies
  • Thermochemical recovery of phosphorus from sewage sludge ash
  • Waste management concepts and resource management
  • Material flow balancing and system optimization
  • Waste management materials and technology database
  • Balancing of entropy generation as a measure for environmental influences of technical processes

Recent research projects

Research Projects

food waste (c)
food waste

The project "REFOWAS - ways to reduce food waste" deals with the topic of avoidable food waste in Germany.

The project combines two levels of consideration: on the one hand, a holistic, sectoral analysis of food waste along the entire value chain (production to consumption) is carried out. On the other hand, various sub-areas will be examined in more detail in practice on the basis of three case studies and with the participation of stakeholders. In this way, the results and options for action can be classified with regard to their effects in the overall system. At the same time, specific statements on subsystems and an assessment of the relevance of options for action by the actors are possible.

Based on the results, possibilities for creating a new awareness for sustainable action with regard to the avoidance of food waste will be identified and evaluated. Action strategies and possible incentive measures for the avoidance of food waste will be discussed with the involvement of relevant actors.

The research project is carried out on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is part of the BMBF funding priority Research for Sustainable Development (FONA) in the field of social-ecological research.

German Aerospace Center e. V. (DLR)

REFOWAS: https://refowas.de/

Funding:
German Aerospace Center e. V. (DLR)
BMBF - Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)

Contact person:
Dipl.-Ing. Gerold Hafner
Dipl.-Ing. Donimik Leverenz

Project partner:
Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Max Rubner Institute
Consumer Center North Rhine-Westphalia e.V.

Duration:
06/2015 - 05/2018

Avoidance of food waste in out-of-home catering (c)
Avoidance of food waste in out-of-home catering

The University of Stuttgart, together with the Bavarian Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn), has already investigated the potential for energy savings by avoiding food waste across the entire food value chain in the Free State of Bavaria. The savings potential in out-of-home catering proved to be the most promising, as the energy backpack per tonne of food waste is the highest here. As the overall energy consumption in the kitchen also accounts for a large proportion of the resource savings potential of a canteen kitchen, these aspects are also examined with regard to savings measures.

Within the framework of the project sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry, this problem is taken up and researched by the ISWA of the University of Stuttgart in cooperation with the KErn, the Deggendorf Technical University and the Resource Management Agency. In a total of three company and one school catering facilities, direct savings measures are being developed by analysing and evaluating the food waste produced. In addition, a further reduction in food waste is to be achieved by developing a demand forecasting tool. In close cooperation with the company's own building services department, the entire energy consumption of the kitchen and the most important large-scale consumers will also be examined in detail in order to derive optimisation potential from this. Finally, the incorporated energy of the food used will be analysed in order to be able to propose optimisation approaches through targeted food selection.

The participating company kitchens were already very energy- and resource-conscious before the project. Nevertheless, under the guidance of the ENKÜ project team, the kitchen managers and their teams were able to determine a partially considerable energy and resource saving potential.

The EnKü project has shown that a multitude of optimisation possibilities exist in all subject areas and in many cases were implemented immediately in the kitchens. The results have also shown that there is a great need for individual support and was highly appreciated by the participating kitchens.

Funding:
Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture (LfL)

Contact persons:
Dipl.-Ing. Gerold Hafner
Dominik Leverenz

Project partners:              
Competence Center for Nutrition Bavaria (Kern)
Resource Management Agency (RMA Association)
Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences

Duration:
06/2016 - 12/2018

In the VERIKA project, the combination of an oxidation of OH radicals produced by high-energy UV radiation combined with a downstream biological elimination of oxidation products is planned for the removal of hardly degradable trace substances. Innovative processes will be used in both stages.

Funding:
AiF, Project Management Agency of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy within the framework of the ZIM funding program

Contact persons:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kranert
Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Rapf
Philipp Fuchs M.Sc.

Project partner:              
Stengelin Environmental Technology GmbH

Duration:
06/2016 - 05/2019

 

Challenges: The quantities of food waste, both avoidable and unavoidable, generated daily in the EU and in urban areas, the pressure that production and management (disposal) exert on the various resources, the environment and the economy, as well as the legal requirements to reduce waste and recycle it within the framework of closed loop management.

Solutions: A holistic management system that includes all aspects, i.e. the reduction of avoidable food waste, the use of unavoidable food waste as raw material and the proper disposal or management of unavoidable food waste.

The A2UFood project focuses on the hospitality sector (hotels and restaurants).

Innovative character: A number of innovative tools are used, e.g. software to help families reduce avoidable food waste, software/hardware to reduce avoidable food waste in restaurants/hotels, a restaurant that provides a second chance for unused food, a bio-plastic biorefinery production system for the recycling of unavoidable food waste (production of compostable bags), a range of state-of-the-art autonomous composting plants where treatment takes place using the above compostable bags on site, near the houses where the waste is generated.

Expected results: Reduction of the amount of avoidable food waste, use of the unavoidable food waste as raw material and environmentally sound and economic treatment. In addition, all experience, knowledge, information and data will be available to anyone wishing to transfer and apply the A2UFood concept to other urban environments.

A2UFood: https://a2ufood.gr/

Funding:
Région Hauts-de-France, acting as the Entrusted Entity of the UIA Initiative
Urban Innovative Actions (UIA)

Contact persons:
Dipl.-Ing. Gerold Hafner
Philipp Pils M.Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Rapf

Project partners:              
Municipality of Heraklion, United Association of Solid Waste Management in Crete (ESDAK)
University of Crete
Technological Educational Institute of Crete
Harokopio University Athens
Enviroplan Consultants & Engineers S.A. - ENVIROPLAN S.A.

Duration:               
03/2018 - 02/2021

 

The project "Continuous recording of food losses in Bavaria" is implemented as one of 17 measures in the alliance "We save food! The aim of the alliance is to develop and implement measures and strategies together with the actors of the value chain in order to contribute to a reduction of food losses.

Based on the IST analysis from 2014, in which data for 2011 were collected, an extended analysis of the food system in Bavaria will be carried out as part of the ongoing recording of food losses in Bavaria. In order to collect specific data, partners from the alliance will be involved in order to enable not only Bavaria-wide monitoring, but in particular also progress documentation of the alliance's activities.

In addition to data collection and analysis, actors, associations and companies from the various stages of the value chain - agriculture, food processing industry, trade and consumption - are involved in expert discussions. In this way, practical experience can be incorporated into the data evaluation.

Funding:
Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture (LfL)

Contact persons:
Dipl.-Ing. Gerold Hafner
Jingjing Huang

Project partner:              
Competence Center for Nutrition Bavaria (Kern)

Duration:               
04/2017 - 05/2019

 

Resource "Food"

Sustainable use of the resource "food":

We balance the quantities of food waste generated in Germany and simultaneously develop avoidance measures and recommendations for action for politicians. In addition, several pilot projects are testing measures for an optimised and sustainable use of the resource "food". Currently, the development of a standardised methodology for the classification and evaluation of food management systems is being developed, which is to be established throughout Germany and Europe in cooperation with other scientific, political and other institutions.

Recovery of phosphorus

Recovery of phosphorus from sewage sludge ash:

In an EU-funded joint project (project management and coordination: University of Leoben, Austria), an innovative thermochemical process is being developed with which sewage sludge ash is broken down into phosphorus and other usable substances. The project parts handled by the work area concern both the performance of tests in a continuously operated laboratory plant and the qualitative and quantitative management of the secondary resources used as well as the products and residual materials.

Waste to Energy

Renewable energies and energetic use of waste streams (waste to energy): 

We develop concepts to make optimal use of unavoidable waste streams from a technical and ecological point of view and thus replace fossil energy.

UV wet oxidation processes for liquid hazardous waste

Practical UV wet oxidation processes for liquid hazardous waste/industrial waste water: 

Technical innovations with the aim of simpler handling and cost minimisation are constantly being tested on our UV free-mirror reactors, which have already been used several times in industry. Tests with real waste water are carried out both in the laboratory and on an industrial scale. The test facilities and our staff are constantly available to test the possibility of treating various liquid wastes using Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP).

Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis of organic residues: 

In both industrialised and developing countries, various organic residues accumulate in manufacturing and agricultural enterprises, which are suitable for the production of coke and high-energy gas by pyrolysis. Concepts and reactors are developed and tested for the respective utilization, adapted to the respective local conditions.

Further fields of activity:

  • Optimization of material cycles in industrial plants
  • Resources in anthropogenic repositories, waste and residual material flows
  • Waste sorting analyses
  • Electrical and electronic scrap
  • Recycling concepts for municipal and industrial wastewater sludges
  • Drying, thermal and biological utilisation of sewage sludge
  • Underground transport of waste
  • hazardous reactions and emissions from waste
  • Self-heating and spontaneous combustion of wastes
  • Treatment concepts for liquid hazardous waste/industrial waste water
  • microbiologically regenerating activated carbon for the elimination of industrial chemicals from waste water
  • Development of waste adequate analytical techniques as well as chemical and biological tests
  • Sampling and analysis of solid, pasty and liquid waste.Optimierung von Stoffkreisläufen in Industriebetrieben

Abfallsortieranalysen (c)
Abfallsortieranalyse

Competed research projects

Finished research projects

The University of Stuttgart, together with the Bavarian Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn), has already investigated the potential for energy savings by avoiding food waste across the entire food value chain in the Free State of Bavaria. The savings potential in out-of-home catering proved to be the most promising, as the energy backpack per tonne of food waste is the highest here. As the overall energy consumption in the kitchen also accounts for a large proportion of the resource savings potential of a canteen kitchen, these aspects are also examined with regard to savings measures.

Within the framework of the project sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry, this problem is taken up and researched by the ISWA of the University of Stuttgart in cooperation with the KErn, the Deggendorf Technical University and the Resource Management Agency. In a total of three company and one school catering facilities, direct savings measures are being developed by analysing and evaluating the food waste produced. In addition, a further reduction in food waste is to be achieved by developing a demand forecasting tool. In close cooperation with the company's own building services department, the entire energy consumption of the kitchen and the most important large-scale consumers will also be examined in detail in order to derive optimisation potential from this. Finally, the incorporated energy of the food used will be analysed in order to be able to propose optimisation approaches through targeted food selection.
The participating company kitchens were already very energy- and resource-conscious before the project. Nevertheless, under the guidance of the ENKÜ project team, the kitchen managers and their teams were able to determine a partially considerable energy and resource saving potential.
The EnKü project has shown that a multitude of optimisation possibilities exist in all subject areas and in many cases were implemented immediately in the kitchens. The results have also shown that there is a great need for individual support and was highly appreciated by the participating kitchens.

Funding: 
Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture (LfL)

Project Manager:
Gerold Hafner

Project processing:
Philipp Pilsl

Duration:
6/2016 until 12/2018

The Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Waste Management at the University of Stuttgart, together with the Competence Centre for Nutrition and on behalf of the Bavarian State Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry, has determined the food losses and waste arising in Bavaria on the basis of an extrapolation and, for the first time in Germany, has included the entire value chain from production to private households. Prevention potentials were identified and initial measures initiated.

Funding: 
Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn) Bavaria

Project Manager:
Gerold Hafner

Project processing:
Jakob Barabosz
Dominik Leverenz

Duration:
7/2013 until 12/2013

If a food does not find its intended use at the end consumer, the often high energy expenditure for the provision is in no proportion to the alternative utilization of the avoidable food waste and losses. The primary energy evaluation of these theoretically avoidable food wastes and losses in the Free State of Bavaria along the entire value chain resulted in a primary energy saving potential of approx. 14,400 TJ/a. The sum of the energy losses caused by food waste was particularly high at the household level, which is why the implementation of avoidance measures is recommended here. Even more suitable for avoidance measures, however, seems to be the area of out-of-home catering, since here a significantly higher specific energy saving potential per avoided Mg of food waste could be achieved and, in addition, the number of individual avoidance measures would be lower.

Funding: 
Competence Centre for Nutrition (KErn) Bavaria

Project Manager:
Gerold Hafner

Project processing:
Jakob Barabosz
Dominik Leverenz

Duration:
2/2014 until 9/2015

Contact:

Dieses Bild zeigt Hafner
Dr.-Ing.

Gerold Hafner

Leader of "Resource Management and Industrial Recycling" (RIK)

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