The beginning of a revolution in packaging

Humankind has already produced more than eight billion tons of plastic. Every year, we add another 80 million tons of plastic packaging to the total, only half of which is recycled. The rest ends up in a garbage incinerator ...

Predicting the magnetic properties of materials

Permanent magnets used in electric cars and wind turbines currently contain rare earth metals. Reducing the amount of these elements in magnets is important, as mining them is harmful both to health and the environment. Researchers ...

Pandemic prevention at airports

Global air travel isn't restricted to people and goods – infectious agents, too, can make their way on board as unwelcome passengers and travel great distances within a matter of hours. In the air, the germs can spread ...

New wood-metal hybrid for lightweight construction

Wood foam and metal sponge – can they be combined? That was the question that experts at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI delved into in a project entitled "HoMe Foam" – with HoMe ...

Machine learning algorithm automatically sorts zebrafish eggs

Zebrafish possess almost all of the same genes we humans do—and that makes their eggs the perfect model organisms for use in genetic and drug research. Previously, samples have had to be prepared manually, which is a very ...

Environmentally friendly and efficient propane heat pump

Heat pumps use environmental energy to provide us with heat. However, they generally require synthetic refrigerants, which contain environmentally harmful fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases). Fraunhofer researchers have ...

Marking breast implants with tomato DNA to prevent counterfeiting

For years, a French company sold breast implants made of cheap industrial silicone components. Headline news when it broke in 2010, this scandal is still keeping the courts busy today. Now, a research team at the Fraunhofer ...

Hazardous contaminated sites in the North and the Baltic Sea

Millions of tons of old ordnance and poison gas grenades lie at the bottom of the North and the Baltic Sea – dangerous legacies of two world wars. The old weapons are corroding and releasing the toxic substances they contain. ...

Controlling drones via voice channels

The future is airborne. Drones may soon become the key to relieving the burden of traffic on our streets, optimizing deliveries, and improving the safety and efficiency of firefighting. But there are still a few hurdles to ...

Increased safety for children around lawn mowers

Robotic lawn mowers are great for cutting the grass, but they do pose a risk of injury to children playing nearby. Highly advanced sensors developed by Fraunhofer researchers ensure that the lawn mower shuts down when children ...

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