How can energy and resources be utilized in an efficient, safe, and sustainable way?

Global bottlenecks are predictable – in the reliable supply of energy and also in the production of raw materials. And with modern society's high demand for energy an additional responsibility asrises: the safe disposal and treatment of wastes and residues. That is why Helmholtz energy researchers(1) are looking for solutions to meet the needs of present and future generations.

At the HZDR the sector "Energy" is divided into three research programs:

Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources

Energy Efficiency, Materials and ResourcesOne of the greatest challenges of our time is the shortage of raw materials and the resultant inevitable economization of energy and resources. How can we improve the efficiency of industrial processes? How can we safeguard and assure the supply of raw materials for the economy? How can we use resources and energy safely and efficiently? These are the three big questions which HZDR scientists are addressing in the research program “Energy Efficiency, Materials, and Resources".

The HZDR and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Freiberg University of Mining and Technology) are pooling their competences and infrastructure in the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology(5) with the objective to provide new and environmentally sound technologies for the exploration, mining, and use of raw materials. The HZDR also contributes to new storage technologies and the safety and efficiency of power plants and industrial facilities.

Current Research Topics


  • Developing new and environmentally sound technologies for safeguarding the long-term supply of critical raw materials

  • Making industrial processes more efficient

Storage Infrastructures

Storage InfrastructuresThe plan for the energy turnaround in Germany is facing a problem: The power being fed from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines actually depends on the environmental conditions and not the current demand. That is why inexpensive storage facilities – in addition to a number of other measures – are indispensable in order to balance supply and demand. The HZDR scientists in the program "Storage and Linked Infrastructures" investigate and develop so-called liquid metal batteries. While being very cost efficient these batteries could save large amounts of energy.

Current Research Topic


  • Investigating and constructing liquid metal batteries

Nuclear Waste Management and Safety

Nuclear Waste Management and SafetyEven though Germany has decided to gradually opt out of nuclear energy by 2022, the scientific community around the globe still continues to address the question of whether nuclear power plants and nuclear waste repositories are safe. In order to prevent and/or control potentially hazardous incidents in nuclear reactors and to precisely predict the possible dispersion of radionuclides in the environment and at potential nuclear waste repositories, we need to know much more about these highly complex processes.

Current Research Topics


  • Making nuclear reactors safer

  • Providing reliable data on nuclear repositories

Content from Sidebar

News about Energy Research at HZDR

Energy Efficiency, Materials and ResourcesTailings as Raw Material Storage for Copper and Building Materials(11)

Storage TechnologiesAre Planets Setting the Sun’s Pace?(12)

Energy Efficiency, Materials and ResourcesAnnual Production of Gallium und Germanium Could be Much Higher(13)

Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources Discovery of a Time-resolved Supernova Signal in Earth’s Microfossils(14)

Nuclear Waste Management and SafetyA Protective Shield against the Heavy Metal Uranium(15)

Further highlights regarding the HZDR energy research you may find in our archive(16).

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Dr. Gunter Gerbeth
Director Institute of Fluid Dynamics
Phone: +49 351 260 - 3480, 3484
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3440

Dr. Sören Kliem
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2318
Fax: +49 351 260 - 12318

Dr. Tom Weier
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2226, 2013
Fax: +49 351 260 - 12226, 12013, 2007


Institute of Fluid Dynamics:
Institute of Resource Ecology:

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