According to the three-pillar principle of BOKU (combination of technology, natural sciences and economic, social and legal sciences) we develop innovative concepts, methods and procedures

- for planning and evaluation of waste prevention measures,
- to close natural and anthropogenic material cycles,
- for low-emission waste treatment and
- for the aftercare and monitoring of landfills and old deposits.

The global interdependence of the economy and material flows requires waste flows to be analysed in a comprehensive context and cross-national solutions to be found.

Our current research areas are:

Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2023-12-31

Food loss and waste have negative impacts on society, the environment and the economy. They worsen food security, cause greenhouse gas emissions, pollute land and water resources, lead to habitat degradation and biodiversity losses, and, last but not least, are responsible for large economic losses. Figures on the amount of losses in agriculture are rather rare, as satisfactory methods are still lacking and the determination of food waste in primary production is the most difficult to quantify. Reasons for this are the lack of analyses on the one hand and the general diversity of the sector (from fisheries to vegetable production) coupled with external conditions that are difficult to assess and which have a significant influence on the amount of food waste and losses. Also in Austria, data on food waste in primary production is still poor and covers only parts of the total agricultural production. The main objective of the project is the prevention and reduction of food losses and waste in primary production as a contribution to food security. Based on a survey of the occurrence and composition of food waste in primary production and the responsible reasons, the prevention potential will be estimated and concrete measures for food waste prevention will be derived, taking into account legal, technical, economic and social aspects. This will contribute to the creation of sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems that enable climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits, biodiversity, environmental sustainability and safe food consumption.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-12-01 - 2026-05-31

Materials, especially advanced materials, are the backbone and source of prosperity of an industrial society” (Materials 2030 Manifesto). The Green Deal and the Digital Decade establish high-priority policies for Europe, where 70% of all technical innovations are directly or indirectly attributed to advanced materials. Lightweight and high-strength materials have consistently played a key role in the construction of fuel-efficient and high-performing transportation structures. Lightweight materials such as glass and carbon fibres composites are commonly used due to their intrinsic properties such as high mechanical performance. However, the poor recyclability and recovery aspect poses a significant challenge. The end-of-life aspect of these materials is crucial, as when landfilled they release toxic substances into the environment. Moreover, minimising resource use, energy of manufacturing processes and optimising waste disposal of future advanced materials can help mitigate cost and product’s end-to-end footprint across its global lifecycle, thereby significantly improving its overall environmental performance. REPOXYBLE will create a new class of high-performance materials -bio-based epoxy composites- targeting cost and energy effectiveness, recyclability and sustainability. REPOXYBLE assumes an upstream approach more efficient and effective than having to address deficiencies at the end of the product development process. This approach integrates product performance, multifunctionality, sustainability, safety and potential legal concerns, while there is still time to act, on the monomers’ synthesis, the resin formulation and the future composite design. In REPOXYBLE, two complementary market applications in the aerospace and automotive sectors are used as business cases.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-01-01 - 2024-12-31

The project aims to develop, test and evaluate effective waste prevention measures along the operational value chain of Austrian microbreweries. In the process, avoidance potentials are addressed in the generation of production waste, in the area of product design and distribution (e.g. reduction of transport packaging), as well as in marketing (e.g. barrel dispensing at market stalls, packaging optimisation in online trade). For this purpose, the status quo regarding operational procedures, volume flows as well as concrete avoidance and optimisation potentials in the sector will first be surveyed. Based on this, packages of measures will be derived, which will then be tested in pilot companies and evaluated on the basis of effective waste avoidance and the associated environmental impacts. Another focus of the project will be on the establishment of cooperative reusable logistics in the area of transport packaging and beverage containers, which can also be established in the long term. The results will be prepared in the form of a practical, user-friendly catalogue of measures and made available to the entire brewing industry in order to achieve the broadest possible impact. This should ensure sustainable waste prevention in the brewing industry even after the end of the project.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations