Energy Efficiency

Nature as a solution provider for energy problems? Fluid transport in textiles as an example of bionics.

Saal C
Freitag, 13.09.2024, 09:00 - 09:25 Uhr

Energy conservation is vital across all fields, including biology. Bionics offers innovative solutions. For example, research on superhydrophobic plants inspired the creation of textiles that remove oil from water surfaces. This led to a floating oil collector requiring no external energy, showcasing textiles' potential for energy-efficient solutions.

Leonie Beek (Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University)
Kai Klopp (Heimbach GmbH)
Energy is a scarce resource. It is not only in technical applications that energy must be saved in order to meet economic and ecological targets; energy must also be used carefully in biology. The science of bionics, i in other words the transfer of biological solutions to technology, therefore offers excellent approaches to solving the problems of our time. In this lecture, we will show how bionics can lead to innovations using the example of fluid transport in textiles inspired by biological surfaces: Based on basic research on superhydrophobic plants, we were able to develop textiles that can be used to remove oil from water surfaces. With the help of these textiles, a novel concept of a floating oil collector could be transferred into a product that facilitates the removal of environmentally harmful oil spills. The oil collector works completely without the use of external energy sources. This makes it an excellent example of how textiles can be used as a key technology for energy-efficient solutions.