Background information to press release: Presentation of NanoHybrids results at PARTEC and POWTECH in Nuremberg on 9–11 April 2019

Aerogels – highly porous materials: Aerogels are a fascinating class of nanoporous materials that exhibit a wide array of extreme and unique materials properties. Aerogels have traditionally been obtained through a combination of sol-gel technology and supercritical drying. However, in recent years numerous new compositions and processes have made possible a wide range of amazing new materials and applications. As a result the importance of aerogels has increased significantly worldwide. Their many uses include insulation for buildings and oil pipelines, lightweight structural materials, aerospace, adsorbents and catalysts, capacitors and batteries.

The Institute of Thermal Separation Processes is part of the “Process and Chemical Engineering” school of study at Hamburg University of Technology. The institute’s research includes experimental and theoretical work on the following topics:

  • High-pressure engineering
  • Supercritical fluids
  • Thermodynamics of biologically relevant systems
  • Downstream processes

Professor Smirnova has been head of the institute since 2008. In the course of her scientific career she has worked at the University of St Petersburg, TU Berlin, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Sogang University in South Korea.

The goal of the EU project “NanoHybrids – New generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels for industrial applications: from the lab to pilot scale production” is to develop a pilot-scale production system for novel aerogels and test potential industrial applications. It is funded under Horizon 2020, the biggest EU research and innovation programme, as one of a series of projects charged with bridging the gap between nanotechnology research, pilot-scale production and markets. The Institute of Thermal Separation Processes led by Professor Smirnova coordinates the project with the support of Tutech Innovation GmbH, a TUHH subsidiary.

In addition to TUHH (Institute of Thermal Separation Processes), the project involves well-known industry partners and research institutes, in particular BASF Polyurethanes GmbH, BASF SE, Dräger Safety AG & Co. KGaA, Nestlé and the German Aerospace Center (DLR Cologne). The project brings together a total of 12 international partners.

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The goal of the funding programme is to build a science and innovation-based society and a competitive economy throughout the EU while contributing to sustainable development.  

About BASF’s Performance Materials division

The Performance Materials division brings together BASF’s entire materials know-how regarding innovative, customised plastics under one roof. Active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods – the division has a strong portfolio of products and services combined with a deep understanding of application-oriented system solutions. Chief profitability and growth drivers are our close cooperation with clients and our clear focus on solutions. Strong R&D skills are the basis for developing innovative products and applications. In 2017 Performance Materials division’s global sales were €7.7 billion. 

About BASF

BASF creates chemistry – for a sustainable future. We bring together commercial success, care for the environment and social responsibility. More than 115,000 staff in the BASF Group are working to contribute to the success of our clients from nearly every sector and almost every country worldwide. Our portfolio is structured in six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care und Agricultural Solutions. In 2017 BASF generated global sales of over €60 billion. BASF is listed on the Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS) stock exchanges. Further information: