Let's talk... Interview with a member of the Cleaning Business Area at Fraunhofer

In our interview series we introduce you to a member of the Fraunhofer Business Unit Cleaning in each newsletter. This time Frank Neumann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST answered our questions. Read more about his career and his personal views on the goals, potential and wishes for the Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning.

© Fraunhofer IST

How did you come to the Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning?

I became involved to the Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning through my role as speaker of the former Fraunhofer Photocatalysis Alliance. At the end of 2017, after 10 years of existence, the Photocatalysis Alliance decided to dissolve and merge with what was then Fraunhofer Alliance for Cleaning Technology. The aim was to provide the institutes of the Photocatalysis Alliance, some of which had previously been active together with the Fraunhofer IST in the Cleaning Technology Alliance, with a broader field of application and to open up new markets.

What goal have you set yourself for your work for FRei?

In the Diamond-based Systems and Clean Tech department, I currently lead the Photo- and Electrochemical Environmental Engineering team. As part of the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, we are developing sustainable processes and systems based on electrochemical oxidation with diamond electrodes (EAOP®) and photochemical oxidation with photocatalysis. Both processes basically dispense with additional chemical substances and are therefore among the most environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning technologies available on the market. My goal is to open up further fields of industrial application for these processes.

What would you like to give Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning customers?

Talk to us! In cooperation with the partner institutes of the Fraunhofer Business Area Cleaning, we always offer you competent advice and the best possible solution for your cleaning problem.

What does the Fraunhofer IST offer in the field of cleaning technology?

In addition to industrial component cleaning and the plasma pretreatment of surfaces, we use photo- and electrochemical oxidation processes with diamond electrodes and photocatalysis for the environmentally friendly cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. Our portfolio includes the development of prototypes as well as economic production scenarios and scaling up to industrial scales. In parallel, we operate a test laboratory for photocatalytic surfaces that is recognized by the professional association.

What makes you a qualified partner in the field of cleaning technology?

Nearly 30 years of professional experience as a developer and project manager in application-oriented research and development, accompanying you from the idea to the transfer to the implementation of innovative technologies in the market. Take advantage of our many years of experience as one of the pioneers of diamond-coated electrodes as well as our extensive know-how in multiscale simulation and benefit from our contacts to cell manufacturers.

What do you wish for the industry?

Stay clean and always open-minded for new, innovative cleaning solutions!