PFI Biotechnology For a long time now the PFI s expertise has not been limited exclusively to the shoe and leather industry What many people may not be aware of however is that the Rhineland Palatinate institute has made an outstanding name for itself in the re search field of biotechnology beyond the state s borders Ahead of its time and the energy policy requirements the PFI started its biotechnological research activities as early as 2006 with the newly introduced fields of activity Energy from Biomass and Xylitol from Brewery Waste An exciting field that soon called for expansion on a larger scale No sooner said than done In 2014 the energy park in Pirmasens Winzeln was opened Here the institute s research work is not only implemented on a large scale in the meantime the energy park has also been expanded to include a power to gas plant The PFI is thus placing an important foundation for the development of electricity storage one of the greatest challenges that must be mastered to ensure the success of the energy transition The success is plain to see With the ongoing expansion of renewable energies more electricity is produced in Winzeln over longer periods than is directly demanded Currently up to 2 7 million kilowatt hours of green electricity are produced in the biogas plant and fed into the Stadtwerke grid In the future the production of bio natural gas in the power to gas plant is to be quadrupled with the help of the planned hydrogen electrolysis The PFI pioneer in the field of renewable energies Biotechnology at PFI The core competences of biotechnological research at the PFI include biogas and Power2Gas technologies biomass digestion and fermentation processes for obtaining biobased products Here the effects and ef ficiency of digestion and pre treatment methods are researched in order to make residual biomasses such as lignocellulose available for biogas production Specially developed test and pilot plants as well as bio reactors for static and dynamic fermentation tests enable investigations under practice relevant conditions In addition the PFI is researching enzymes and trace element solutions to increase the degree of degradation and process stability in the biogas process as well as methods for the production and storage of biomethane keyword Power2Gas Innovative cosmetic products made from the wood cut from fruit trees The project AgriWasteValue focuses on the use of woodcut residues from fruit and wine cultivation for the extraction of new bioactive substances among others for the cosmetics industry Despite slight delays due to the Covid 19 pandemic a positive interim balance could be drawn Some promising substances for the cosmetics industry were characterised in the residues The task now is to isolate and further process them Residual materials from the region as raw materials for high tech products The Waste2Value research project is focusing on the production of high quality bio based products from organic residues and waste from regional agriculture forestry and industry The joint part ners Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences Zukunftsregion Westpfalz e V and the PFI have been accepted into the concept phase of the nationwide funding programme WIR a program me with the aim of providing new impetus to structurally weak regions If they succeed in reaching the implementation phase with a duration of three plus years project funding of up to 16 million euros can be expected This represents a unique opportunity for innovation dynamics and the establishment of new technologies in the Western Palatinate 19

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