ForCycle Project Group – Raw Material Shift in Bavaria


Logo_finanziert durchStMUV

The growing demand for raw materials worldwide increasingly challenges the supply situation which seemed widely ensured until now. Price dynamics and scarcity of resources as well as raw material reserves in only few mining regions and supply shortages from politically unstable export regions are factors that make predictability more difficult and are developing into a risk factor for German economy.

With its high-tech companies in the automobile industry, the electric- and electronic branch, in mechanical engineering and in metal and chemical industry, the business location Bavaria is especially affected by this development. In order to preserve productivity and the capacity to compete, a rethinking and rerouting of the use and further processing of raw materials is absolutely necessary in Bavarian companies. Beyond protecting the environment, measures for the saving of resources, efficiency enhancement, for recycling and re-use of raw materials become more and more important on an economic level.

In the light of these challenges, the Bavarian Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection (Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz) decided on funding the research and development program ForCycle – Raw Material Shift in Bavaria and is going to fund the project for three years with approximately 3 million euros.

The program intends to increase the ratio of secondary raw materials and to diminish consumption of primary resources in Bavarian economy. This trend reversal – away from virgin raw materials towards a recycling of used materials with subsequent recirculation in the production process – marks an elementary rethinking in dealing with natural resources. It can be considered as the foundation stone for a raw material shift in Bavaria.

The strategic concept for ForCycle considers raw materials in their complete ‘life cycle’, including the whole value creating process of a material and its function. The focus on the material dimension of resource strategy reacts on the hardly manageable variety of substances and materials in consumer goods, of which even the producers do not have sufficient knowledge anymore, regarding the exact contents of the material composition of their produced goods. To obtain clarity about deposit, scopes and the actual as well as the predicted needs of the technologically used raw materials, the complete life cycle those raw materials has to be understood. Where does the mining of the material take place, in which quantities, in which quality, in which concentration, under which social and political conditions? How does the raw material or intermediate product, through possibly intertwined delivery channels – because of international labor division – and confusing production methods, reach Germany/Bavaria in order to be processed? What happens with the products in the phase of re-use? Do they end on a garbage dump or are they returned to the recycling process? Do losses of dissipation already occur during the production process, during usage or upon disposal, possibly through deposits on landfills?

With this resource-strategic approach the net value added of materials is not only being pursued and analyzed on all paths of usage and of effect, but it also offers the possibility to evaluate the criticality of a specific material at different points of intersection in the value-added chain. Thus, alternative ways for the further usage or the substitution of such a material can be demonstrated.


The ForCycle project connects fundamental research with new developments of technology and cooperation partners from industry. Such a project is an open process with regard to scientific-technological developments and is equally oriented on the implementation of innovations by the partners from industry. The pilot projects of ForCycle are designed for initiating reciprocal learning processes.

It is a substantial goal of ForCycle to collaborate with companies for financial support and to directly engage in testing and using new procedures and technologies. The inclusion of new companies in addition to the already existing cooperations is understood as a continual process and is pursued for the whole duration of the project.



Prof. Dr. Armin Reller (Universität Augsburg, Lehrstuhl für Ressourcenstrategie, Wissenschaftszentrum Umwelt (WZU)): Ressourcenstrategie für die Rohstoffwende Bayern - unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Sekundärrohstoffen. (Resource strategy for the raw material change in Bavaria, considering especially secondary raw materials.)

Prof. Dr. Soraya Heuss-Aßbichler (LMU München, Department für Geo- und Umweltwis­senschaften, Sektion Mineralogie, Petrologie & Geochemie): Entwicklung einer Gesamtlö­sung zur effektiven Rückgewinnung von Buntmetallen aus Industrieabwässern. (Development of an overall solution for the effective recovery of non-ferrous metals from industrial effluents.)

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Horn (Universität Augsburg, LS Experimentalphysik, Institut für Physik) in Kooperation mit Prof. Dr. Klaus Drechsler (Fraunhofer Projektgruppe FIL, Augsburg):
Ressourceneffiziente Faser-Matrix-Separation für das Recycling von Carbonfaserstrukturen. (Resource-efficient fibre-matrix separation for recycling of carbon fibre structures.)

Prof. Dr. Burkhard König (Universität Regensburg, Institut für Organische Chemie):
Niedrig schmelzende Zucker-Harnstoff Gemische zur Extraktion von Metallen und anderen Wertstof­fen.(Low-melting sugar-urea mixtures for the extraction of metals and other recyclable materials.)

Prof. Dr. Werner Kunz (Universität Regensburg, Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Carl von Carlowitz Center für Nachhaltige Chemie) in Kooperation mit Prof. Dr. Cordt Zollfrank (TUM und Wissenschaftszentrum für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe Straubing, Fachgebiet Biogene Polymere): Neuartige biogene Hybridpolymere aus Zellulose und Chitin.(Novel biogenic hybrid polymers from cellulose and chitin.)

Dr. Martin Schlummer (Fraunhofer-Institut IVV, Abteilung Verfahrensentwicklung Polymer-Recycling, Freising):
Recycling von Metallen aus Metall-Kunststoffverbunden und Hybrid­werkstoffen.(Recycling of metals from metal-plastic composites and hybrid materials.)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Teipel (Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Fakultät Verfahrenstechnik, Me­chanische Verfahrenstechnik/Partikeltechnologie): Recycling von Kompositbauteilen aus Kunststoffen als Matrixmaterial.(Recycling of composite functional elements from plastics as matrix material.)

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Teipel (Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Fakultät Verfahrenstechnik, Me­chanische Verfahrenstechnik / Partikeltechnologie): Produktgestaltung mit Sekundärrohstof­fen in der Baustoff- und Keramikindustrie.(Product design with secondary raw materials in building materials and ceramics industry.)

Prof. Dr. Monika Willert-Porada (Universität Bayreuth, LS für Werkstoffverarbeitung):
Auf-Reinigung von Gebrauchs- und Spezial-Gläsern zur Dissipationslimitierung und Rückgewin­nung von Wertmetallen.
(Thermal treating of daily use and special glasses for the limitation of dissipation and recovery of valuable metals.)


Achzet, B. (2012): Empirische Analyse von preis- und verfügbarkeitsbeeinflussenden Indi­katoren unter Berücksichtigung der Kritikalität von Rohstoffen. Hamburg: Disserta Verlag, 2012.

Achzet, B.; Reller, A.; Zepf, V. (2012): University of  Augsburg, Rennie C. BP, Ashfield M. and Simmons J., ON Communication (2011): Materials critical to the energy industry. An introduction. University of Augsburg, supported by BP, 2011.

Reller, A.; Marschall, L.; Meißner, S.; Schmidt, C. (2013): Ressourcenstrategie. Eine Einführung in den nachhaltigen Umgang mit Ressourcen. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2013.

Reller, A.; Zepf, V.; Achzet, B. (2013): The Importance of Rare Metals for Emerging Tech­nologies. In: Factor X. Re-source – Designing the Recycling Society. M. Angrick/A. Burger/H. Lehmann (Hg.) Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 203-219, 2013.

Zepf, V. (2013): Rare Earth Elements. A New Approach to the Nexus of Supply, Demand and Use; Exemplified along the Use of Neodymium in Permanent Magnets’. Reihe Springer The­ses. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.


Head of Project:

Prof. Dr. Armin Reller,,

Tel.: 0821-598-3001


Dr. Julia Fendt,,

Tel.: 0821-598-3558

Duration of Project:

2014 - 2016