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Due to the rapid deterioration of natural resources in addition to waste generation, providing eco-friendly solutions through waste management has become the need of the hour. We are developing novel extraction processes with alternative solvent and their transfer into industrial upscaling to a cost-efficient process for the recovery and recycling of valuable materials.

Critical raw material recovery

The EU Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) was adopted in 2008, and represents 41 metals and minerals considered to be of importance to future markets, and of limited supply. Within the European project PLATIRUS (PLATinum group metals Recovery Using Secondary raw materials) we were working on new, green and environmentally friendly developments in leaching, separation and recovery, resulting in higher yields, lower energy consumption and improved environmental impact while avoiding toxic or dangerous reagents such as aqua regia or cyanides.

We are currently transferring metal recovery technologies developed towards different industrial waste streams, for example the extraction of valuable metals (e.g., Zn, Pb, Pt, Pd) present in fly ash, thus allowing its reuse in the construction industry or their disposal as non-hazardous waste.

Biomass processing with alternative solvents: Fine chemical production for a value-added biorefinery

Agricultural or biological wastes contain several reusable substances of high value such as chemical intermediates, fragrances or soluble sugars. While the growing research on alternative solvents as solvents for lignocellulosic biorefinery is mostly related to the production of biofuels, relatively little attention is paid to the extraction of valuable ingredients from waste plant materials. Yet there are several aspects of alternative solvents that are potentially advantageous: Apart from their unique solvent properties and potential environmental benefits, they can lead to a better access to valuable ingredient embedded in the biopolymers and contribute to a value-added biorefinery.  Over the past years, we developed a platform strategy for the extraction of multiple valuable ingredients from biomass with alternative solvents, and recent example include the isolation of bioactive compounds such as cannabinoids from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) or the in situ enzymatic conversion and extraction of target compounds from biowaste such as apple pomace

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Lisa Eisele

Project Assistant, MSc
Lisa obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the University of Stuttgart. During her Master’s studies she focused on Materials Chemistry gaining more lab experience during an ERASMUS stay at CPE Lyon working with polymerizable Pickering Emulsions. While doing her Master’s thesis she worked on organic/inorganic perovskite solar cells. In January 2021 she joined the Schröder research group as a PhD student. Her work is focused on Ionic Liquid co-catalyzed photocatalytic CO2 reduction.

Ádám Márk Pálvölgyi

Group Management

Ádám obtained his Bachelor degree in Chemistry from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2015. After a short visiting semester in Belgium, he continued with his master studies in Hungary, where he focused on the synthesis and application of sugar-based crown ethers for asymmetric catalysis. Ádám joined the group in 2017 as a PhD student. Since finishing his PhD , he is a postdoctoral fellow in the group. His research focuses on sustainable chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, as well as on photochemical transformations.

Marie Entstrasser

Group Management
Marie is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna. She helps Katharina with administrative duties and lab management.