Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP - Germany

Description of FhG-IAP, Biopolymers Division:

The research activities are focused both on natural polymers (cellulose, starch, chitin, lignin, pectin, among others) and on biobased synthetic polymers like polylactid and polyalkanoates. With key competences in the field of cellulose and starch we develop novel products and environment-friendly technologies on a lab and pilot plant scale. Currently we are dealing with man-made cellulosics like fibers, films and nonwovens, as well as with novel cellulose fiber reinforced composites based on synthetic (PP, PE, PS) or biogenic (PLA, PHA) matrix materials. Via various derivatization reactions structures and properties of cellulose and starch can be adopted to the specific needs of pharmaceutical, medical and hygienic applications. Special additives are developed with industrial partners for paper production, coatings, adhesives, detergents, and construction materials.

Description of the polysaccharide research activities:

Chemical modification of polysaccharides with focus on cellulose and starch, but also hemicellulose, inulin, hyaloronic acid, chitin, and chitosan physico-chemical characterisation of polysaccharides (e.g. chain architecture, molecular weight distribution, substituent distribution) super molecular and morphological characterisation (e.g. crystallinity, chain orientation, interphase behaviour) mechanical and rheological characterisation cellulose fibre spinning via the viscose, carbamate, and NMMO routes including non-wovens from cellulose cellulose and starch based composite materials development

Topics of research:

Regenerated cellulose technologies Spunbond nonwovens Cellulose fibre-reinforced plastics Specialties from different polysaccharide types Starch modification for paper additives, adhesives, emulgators and bioplastics

Main pieces of equipment:

Product development: laboratory and pilot-plant equipment for processing and modification of polysaccharides, regenerated cellulose spinning lines (up to 3k), test extruder with various dies, explosion-proof 50 l reactor, microwave reactor, jet-cooker, pilot-scale spray drier, freeze drier, turbulent layer drier Physical characterization: X-ray diffraction methods (small-angle and wide-angle scattering), particle size determination, microscopy station with video recording, electron microscopy (TEM, REM, EDX), HPSEC-MALLS, static laser light scattering for molar mass, Staudinger index, rheology (viscosity, flow behaviour, storage and loss modulus) Analytics: NMR- spectrometry (400 und 500 MHz), ICP, HPLC, SEC, elemental analytic


Prof. Dr. Johannes Ganster


Phone:+49 (0)331 568 1706

Fax: +49 (0)331 568 3000

Address: Geiselbergstraße 69 D-14476 Potsdam-Golm Germany