Research projects

Since 1992 we have been participating as a partner in numerous research projects at the national and European level.

We bring to the table our experience in the fields of software development, material flow management, modeling and simulation.

Below is a selection of research projects in which ifu Hamburg GmbH has participated.



Steelmaking in electric arc furnace (EAF) is an energy-intensive process. This project aims to improve resource efficiency in EAF steelmaking by using a tailored material flow model. Besides ifu Hamburg, the Department for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering (IOB) at RWTH Aachen University contributes to this project. Collaboration with several steelworks ensures that the results will be practice-relevant.



The Baltic Flows project is on rainwater monitoring and management in Baltic Sea catchment areas. The project lays the foundation for development of new capacities and policies for effectively monitoring and managing the quality and quantities of rainwater moving from one place to the next. Baltic Flows focuses on streams, rivers and cities in Baltic Sea catchment areas, not on the sea itself. The strategies, knowledge and expertise created during the project can be exploited elsewhere in the Union and in other global regions. The project will support the development of research-driven clusters in each region; enhanced capacities in diffuse load monitoring and urban stormwater management will lead to new business opportunities in the global market for water monitoring and management know-how and solutions.

The consortium consists of 17 project partners in five European regions. Within the consortium there are 6 research organisations, 6 SMEs and 5 public sector representatives.

Funded under FP7-REGIONS, project number 319923. Project duration Oct 1, 2013 to Sep 30, 2016.




The project BioREFINE-2G aims at developing commercially attractive processes for efficient conversion of pentose-rich side-streams from biorefineries into dicarboxylic acids, which can be used as precursors for bio-based polymers including biodegradable polymers.

The project covers the whole value chain, from characterization of side streams from forest and other non-food feedstock, development of novel robust industrial yeast cell factories, fermentation and downstream process development, to polymerization methods development for the production of biodegradable polymers applicable as plastics, coatings or adhesives, scale-up and demonstration and to life cycle and economic viability analyses.

The consortium involves eight industrial and academic partners within the biotechnology sector. Additional participants include four SMEs and one large enterprise. bioREFINE-2G is co-funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme (Project No. FP7-613771). The project runs from 01.10.2013 to 30.09.2017.

Project website:



CliCCC - Climate & Carbon Calculator for Companies

CliCCC - Climate & Carbon Calculator for Companies

The CliCCC project was partially funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the programme KMU-innovativ.

Project partners included Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, Dept. of Environmental Economics (INEC) and Chamber of Commerce Southern Upper Rhine, Freiburg

The aim of the CliCCC project was to develop a web-based greenhouse gas emissions calculator specifically for SMEs so they can determine their environmental performance. It is modular and scalable, which means an individual design can be tailored to the needs of any user group and it will integrate seamlessly. The calculator allows fast and reliable emissions estimates of high scientific quality over a large breadth of relevance at the enterprise level. It also considers direct and indirect emissions from intermediate consumption and depreciation. This is done based on generic data for environmental and national economic numbers. Try the CliCCC calculator for yourself (in German only). You can register for a test account here.

Goto CliCCC website



Development of a competency center for resource efficiency at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Columbia.

eLCAr - E-Mobility Life Cycle Assessment Recommendations

eLCAr - E-Mobility Life Cycle Assessment Recommendations

"Will we run out of oil soon?" "When Gasoline becomes a Luxury!" These and similar statements leverage the discussion and research on new concepts of transportation, especially electric mobility or to keep it short e-mobility. It is generally believed that vehicles driven by electricity are much more sustainable and eco-friendly than conventional cars. Leading automobile manufacturers already rely on hybrid engines and work on the further development of complete e-mobility concepts.

Associated with this increased significance is the necessity for assessing the environmental impact of electric vehicles on a profound basis. That not only refers to the use phase but as well to production, disposal and its connected questions on recycling. The project "eLCAr", supported by the European Commission, refers to exactely these challanges. It aims to developing guidelines for the Life Cycle Assessment of electric vehicles. The ifu Hamburg GmbH supports the project with its long-term experience in LCA and its software solutions.

For further information please visit the Website of the eLCAr project.




The aim of the ENBEKO project was to develop methods and tools that allow industries to evaluate their energy efficiency, identify areas of potential and assist the development of solutions. An additional goal was to review the measures implemented and to quantify the savings. To achieve this, constantly changing parameters such as temperature, output and product types had to be taken into account.

ifu Hamburg GmbH and Limón GmbH cooperated in this project for developing a software prototype. The project was co-financed by Deutsche Umweltstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and ran from 01.03.2010 - 31.05.2011.



Based on the lack of considering ecological aspects and of decision support for SME the project EnHiPro focuses on the analysis and evaluation of measures for increasing energy and auxiliary efficiency of SME's production systems. The procedure developed within the EnHiPro project and the associated methods/tools enable manufacturing SME to identify organizational and technical measures and its contribution to an increased efficiency.

Under the auspices of the IWF of the Technical University of Braunschweig, ifu Hamburg GmbH collaborates with other software partners on concepts and their prototypical implementation by selected industry partners. The focus is on continuous visualization and evaluation of measures to increase the use efficiency of energy, material inputs and material flow information in production planning and existing ERP environments.

This project was co-funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project period was 06/2009 to 05/2012.

Go to project page

The so-called "Effizienz-Generator" was developed within the project. This webbased tool offers approaches and measures to increase the operational efficiency.

Go to website (in German)



InReff - Integrated Resource Efficiency Analysis for Reducing Climate Impacts in the Chemical Industry

InReff - Integrated Resource Efficiency Analysis for Reducing Climate Impacts in the Chemical Industry

The joint project InReff ("Integrated Resource Efficiency Analysis for Reducing Climate Impacts in the Chemical Industry") started in April 2012 and will run for three years. Within the project, a planning tool will be developed and exemplary applied to enable practical and comprehensive view on climate protection by resource efficiency. Thus, this leads to an integrated analysis of material and energy efficiency combined with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production process in the chemical industry.

To enable a good linkage between theory and practice the project consortium consists of scientific and industrial partners: the companies H.C. Starck GmbH, Sachtleben Chemie GmbH and ifu Hamburg GmbH on the corporate side and the Institute for Industrial Ecology of Pforzheim University with the Institute for Chemical and Thermal Process Engineering at the University of Braunschweig as scientific partners.

The InReff project is co-funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project runs from 01.04.2012 to 31.03.2015.

KartAL 2

Mapping of the anthropogenic materials stockpile 2, a follow-up to KARAL1. Mapping of the anthropogenic materials stockpile in Germany to optimize the secondary raw material economy through development of a dynamic material flow model.

The project's goal is to develop and program a dynamic, updatable inventory model for the Federal Republic of Germany, including a data bank that will serve as a model for prognosis of secondary raw materials from durable goods and therefore provide the basis for planning urban mining.


Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Cooperation: Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, CIBA Specialty Chemicals and Hanomag Lohnhärterei

Objective: The project dealt with combining optimization methods and material flow analysis for improved material use.



ifu Hamburg partners with Technical University Braunschweig, IAV Automotive Engineering, Volkswagen AG, Magna International, BASF SE, and other partners in the MultiMaK2 project.

The goal is to develop improved methods and tools for integrated (economic, ecological, technical) evaluation of products and process chains for multi-material components with high manufacturing volumes. Taking into account the energy and material flows in production and life-cycle effects in different usage scenarios, design rules for products and processes as well as concrete component concepts will be derived.

MultiMaK2 is a project in the framework of the Open Hybrid LabFactory. This research and development project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The project runs over four years (2015-2019).

More information about the project can be found on the website of TU Braunschweig.

Sustainability Impact Assessment of chemical syntheses in stages of development

The objective of the project was the evaluation of the sustainability of chemical syntheses in their various stages of process development. The aim was to develop procedures that compare chemical and biotechnological processes with each other.

In cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer and the ETH Zürich a software solution was developed that enables both chemists and engineers to assess the environmental impact incl. cost considerations in the chemical process.

The project ran from 01.08.2008 to 31.01.2012 and was co-financed by the German Environmental Foundation (DBU) under project number 25070.

StUChem - Environmental Assessment of Chemicals based on Molecular Structure

StUChem - Environmental Assessment of Chemicals based on Molecular Structure

Zhe objective of the StUChem project was to develop a prototype of a web-based software for environmental assessment of chemicals based on their molecular structure.

The tool allows to estimate the environmental indicators greenhouse warming potential (GWP100a), cumulative energy demand (CED), and Ecoindicator 99.

This DBU-funded project (No. 30182) ran from 01.02.2013 to 31.07.2014. After completion of the project the result will be marketed by ifu Hamburg GmbH as EstiMol on their website.

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