Within the project "Life Cycle Impact Zero", the company Enapter aims at reshaping their production of electrolysers in a more sustainable way. This includes, for instance, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the resource friendly consumption of raw materials and energy. The company works together with researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, the Wuppertal Institute and the Institute for Sustainable Nutrition (iSuN) at the University of Applied Sciences Münster to determine which measures are necessary to achieve this goal.
After specifying the framework of the analysis, all material and energy flows as well as procedures and processes for the production site in Saerbeck are recorded in detail. On the basis of the gathered data, the defined subject areas are evaluated and quantified with regard to their environmental influences, and as an outcome the factors that have the greatest ecological impact are identified. For each impact factor, the project members then determine potential improvements in all main areas of work. In terms of a circular economy, these can include the increase in efficiency, an improved product design, the use of residual materials or the substitution of raw materials. They finally summarise the results in a detailed catalog in the form of recommended actions for the production site. In addition, it will be decided on how the gained knowledge can be transferred to other Enapter production sites for further practical use. The Wuppertal Institute supports the leading Fraunhofer UMSICHT in all work steps, analyses in particular the usage of critical raw materials and evaluates the resulting recommendations for action.