Reseach strand 2: Polymeric materials in new applications

In this strand, we realize new application ideas for polymers. Prominent examples are new application for hydrogels normally used in diapers or for water delivery in agriculture. We showed that they can be used for water desalination [Arens et al., 2017] or for the construction on an osmotic motor. Both application are based on the capability of hydrogels to change the ion concentration in electrolytes. Another example is the entropy wheel where polymeric elastomers are used to build a machine that transforms waste heat into mechanical energy. The basic concept behind is the usage of the change in the restoring force of elastomers under strain by ongoing temperature changes. A partial heated wheel starts to rotate, so it transfers heat to mechanical energy, also working for very low heat differences of only 50° C. This allows heat recovery also for low temperature of cooling liquids not possible with actual available methods.


Examples of research topics in this strand:


Selected related articles connected to research strand 2: Polymeric materials in new applications
Please see also the full list of publications  
Osmotic Engine: Translating Osmotic Pressure into Macroscopic Mechanical Force via Poly(Acrylic Acid) Based Hydrogels
Energy consumption for the desalination of salt water using polyelectrolyte hydrogels as the separation agent
Das Entropierad : Maschine aus Konformationsänderungen