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Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-01-01 - 2028-09-30

This project serves to support the project partners of the Josef Ressel Center "Restex", in which various recycling strategies for blended textile fabrics, primarily polycotton (cotton-polyethylene terephthalate blended fabrics), are developed and analyzed. During their service life and especially during thermal reprocessing, the polyester chains are degraded by chemical (detergent), thermal, mechanical or hydrolytic influences. Re-granulated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is shear-sensitive and thermally sensitive during thermoplastic reprocessing. As a result of the reduced molecular weight the melt viscosity, melt strength and mechanical properties are drastically reduced compared to virgin polyesters. Hence the reuse of the polyester in equivalent applications is limited. The services provided by the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology (Bioplastics Technology Group) include the preparation of the textiles for the subsequent separation processes of cellulose and polyester as well as the performance of extrusion trials for the production of Re-PET granulates on a laboratory and production scale. The primary aims of these tests are (i) to optimize the mechanical properties of the recovered polyesters by means of analyses and (ii) to adapt the preparation and compounding process and, if necessary, (iii) to add additives to the recovered polyesters or surface modifications of the cellulosic residues.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-04-01 - 2027-07-31

Insect-borne cereal viruses are considered the 'winners' of climate change. Winter cereals, especially winter barley and winter wheat, are under increased pressure for infection with Wheat dwarf virus (WDV), Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and Cereal yellow dwarf virus (CYDV). Cereal plants are most susceptible to these viruses at the juvenile stage. The viruses are transmitted by sucking insects (vectors): WDV is transmitted by a dwarf cicada (Psammotettix alienus), BYDY and CYDV by several aphid species. The activity of the vectors is dependent on temperature and thus weather conditions. Rising temperatures increase the mobility of the vectors. In particular, longer periods of warm temperatures in the fall, in some years into early winter, which are increasingly common, increase the risk of viruses to our cereal crops. The extent of damage varies depending on the degree of infestation; heavily infested crops can lead to total failure. In the project, the necessary preliminary work (pre-breeding) for breeding 1) new resistant breeding lines will be carried out and 2) effective selection methods will be developed, with a focus on resistance to WDV, because WDV is of increasing importance in wheat in Central Europe. In work package 1, the genetic variation in the current breeding material will be examined in multi-site field trials and selection markers for quantitative resistance will be sought. In work package 2, a highly effective resistance factor on chromosome 6A recently discovered by us in an old Eastern European variety will be introduced into regionally adapted winter wheat variety candidates. Overall, the expected new findings on the inheritance of virus resistance and the newly developed pre-breeding material with improved virus resistance represent an essential step towards future-fit wheat varieties and the sustainable safeguarding of wheat cultivation in Austria.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations