Explorative project 1

Functionalization of natural fibers to open up new applications

The project Functionalization of Natural Fibers for the Development of New Applications aims at the scientific treatment of deficits and problems of modular surface properties of natural fibers adaptable to the manufacturing process as well as the production of natural fiber-based materials for efficient air and water purification. To this end, the functionalization of natural fibers, in particular cellulose-based fibers, is to be investigated, researched and further developed.

In order to realize the objectives, the project pursues two main research topics:

  • optimization of semi-finished products and fiber-matrix adhesion in the production of thermoset components of natural fibres, this includes the development of a modular and scalable functionalization chemistry as well as its application and optimization.
  • development of natural fiber-based composites for water and/or air purification, in particular the further development of mixed-matrix membranes for combining filtration and adsorption with the aim of high permeability at high selectivity. The methods for valuable material recovery (e.g. phosphate) are intended to increase the sustainability of processing of natural fibres.

The two main research areas are strongly interlinked with the research of the impulse projects within the LaNDER3 project. A permanent data and knowledge transfer allows to answer fundamental questions considering practical requirements. The involvement and cooperation with scientific partners of the project ensures scientific requirements. Finally, the explorative project laid the starting conditions for impulse projects of the intensification phase (from 2021) within the framework of the FH Impulse Programme.

As part of the project, investments are being made in new laboratory technology. Among other things, a twin-screw microcompounder is now available for practical research into new compositions. The construction of a measuring stand for air filtration is currently in preparation - a mass spectrometer for analyzing exhaust gas flows in real time has been purchased.

Project management

Foto: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Jens Weber
Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Jens Weber
Fakultät Natur- und Umweltwissenschaften
Campus 02763 Zittau
Külzufer 2
Building Z VI, Room 01
+49 3583 612-4705


M. Eng.
Daniel Fischbach
Fakultät Natur- und Umweltwissenschaften
Campus 02763 Zittau
Külzufer 2
Building Z VI, Room 109
+49 3583 612-4645
Florian Praße
Fakultät Natur- und Umweltwissenschaften
Campus 02763 Zittau
F-Schneider-Str. 26
Building Z IX, Room 011
+49 3583 612-4877