Current Projects

09/2022 – 05/2026 – WaterProof

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WaterProof: urban Waste and water Treatment Emission Reduction by utilizing CO2 for the PROduction Of Formate derived chemicals

We live in a time when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere exceeds the records of the last 800,000 years! In order to mitigate the impact of CO2 on the environment and tackle climate change to protect future generations on earth, carbon recycling is imperative.

Among many industrial processes, the operation of wastewater treatment plants is one of the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), as well as indirect emissions from energy production. The goal of the WaterProof project is to improve the carbon cycle of waste (water) by developing a novel and green biorefinery concept electrolysis process that converts CO2 emissions from urban waste treatment facilities into formic acid and eventually into consumable products such as detergents, fish leather, etc. In WaterProof, 12 European partners including Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH, Avantium Chemicals Bv, Avantium Support Bv, Fundacion Para El Desarrollo y La Innovacion Tecnologica, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Stichting Waternet, Ecover Co-Ordination Center, Nova-Institut für Politische und Ökologische Innovation GmbH, Nordic Fish Leather ehf, IZES gGmbH, Frames Renewable Energy Solutions B.V., NV HVC and Corporacion Centro De Ciencia y Tecnologia De Antioquia bring together their knowledge, experience and technical resources to achieve the project goals.

Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH, in close collaboration with Avantium, plays an important role in upscaling the production of gas diffusion electrodes (GDL) in WaterProof. For this purpose, Coatema will design and develop an appropriate roll-to-roll line by upgrading the Click&Coat pilot line with a high-temperature calendering module and a coating system for suspension coating.


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09/2022 – 08/2025 – NOUVEAU

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Novel Electrode coatings and Interconnect for sustainable and Reusable SOEC

The demand for green hydrogen and renewable electricity production is growing rapidly. The solid oxide electrolytic cell (SOEC) is a key technology for the production of hydrogen with high efficiency. However, a limitation in the production of SOEC is the high demand for rare earth elements (REE), which is the bottleneck of their mass production. The goal of the NOUVEAU project is to produce innovative and optimized electrode and interconnect materials with at least 30% less La, 20% less Cr content and from recycled sources. This enables SOECs to be manufactured at lower cost with improved lifetime and sustainable by design.

To achieve the goals of the NOUVEAU project, Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH is collaborating with other European partners including VITO, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Marion Technologies, Eindhoven University of Technology, QSAR Lab, IMDEA Energy, CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Fiaxell SOFC Technologies.

For upscaling the electrode coating process, Coatema will develop a unique dual-slot die system to transfer gradient coating concept into the roll-to-roll process and produce electrodes with optimized microstructure. In addition, Coatema will develop an energy-efficient drying process that combines the traditional convection dryer concept with a radiation-based technology to further improve the electrode manufacturing process as part of the NOUVEAU project.




04/2020 – 03/2024 – FlexFunction2Sustain

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Open Innovation Ecosystem for Sustainable Nano-functionalized Flexible Plastic and Paper Surfaces and Membranes

Plastic and paper-based products are omnipresent in well-established multi-billion Euro markets such as food and pharma packaging. Furthermore, due to the replacement of traditional rigid glass and metal surfaces or substrates by nano-functionalized plastic or paper surfaces new opportunities and applications are emerging. However, the plastic waste pollution is still an issue of capital importance that one has to overcome.

The FlexFunction2Sustain project will support plastic and paper processing industry in overcoming these challenges by offering an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) for nano-functionalization technologies that enable sustainable and smart plastics- and paper-based products.

The OITB will create a holistic integrated service portfolio including technical and non-technical aspects of the innovation chain. The ecosystem will support its customers in material and product design, in process and product development, in product verification and certification, with pilot and small series production services and with accessing new markets and business opportunities.

To extent the service portfolio of the OITB the equipment at different facility clusters will be upgraded and validated in industrial use cases from P&G, SONAE, Huck Folien, Capri Sun, Fiat and I3 membranes. These upgrades will allow the OITB to offer services for advancing new surface functionalities ranging from laboratory validation (TRL4) up to validation in an operational/industrial environment (TRL7).

Within this project Coatema will upgrade four different pilot lines:

  • Nanoimprint line at Joanneum Research
  • Organic and printed electronics production line at the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki
  • Roll-to-roll ALD system at Fraunhofer IVV
  • Modular Click&CoatTM pilot line at the Coatema R&D centre

Together with our partners we will scale up pilot-production processes, enhance the automation, improve the yield and impended new technologies.



03/2020 – 02/2023 – RealNano

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In-line and Real-time Nano-characterization technologies for the high yield manufacturing of Flexible Organic Electronics

Organic & Printed Electronics (OE) nanolayers is one of the most rapidly emerging sector of Nano Science and Technology. While the OE market is rapidly growing worldwide, from 31.7 B$ in 2018 to 77.3 B$ in 2029, the industrial manufacturing cannot meet the more extensive commercialization demands on speed, reliability, materials quality, final product efficiency, and stability.

The RealNano project will play a significant role in the digital transformation of the EU industries, with an ambitious aim to demonstrate a yield improvement of up to 90%, in combination with above 30% reduction on wastes and resources for nanomaterials. In order to accomplish this, novel and fast real-time nano-characterization material tools & methodologies based on spectroscopic ellipsometry, raman spectroscopy, imaging photoluminescence, and laser beam induced current mapping will be integrated to in-line R2R printing - and organic vapor phase deposition pilot-to-production lines.

In this project, Coatema is focussing on the mechanical integration of the developed characterization tools and the mechanical improvement of the R2R pilot-to-production line.



02/2019 – 07/2022 – PEPcat

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Energy-efficient advanced oxidation for removal of organic substances in wastewater through Plasmonically Enhanced Photocatalysis

The Institute for Urban Water Management and the Institute for Environmental Research at RWTH Aachen University are developing a novel process for oxidative water purification in cooperation with AMO GmbH (Aachen), Coatema GmbH (Dormagen), UMEX GmbH Dresden (Dresden) and HOLINGER Ingenieure GmbH (Merklingen), as well as Beijing Capital Company Ltd. (Beijing, China).

The aim of this project is to increase the elimination of so-called organic trace substances, such as pharmaceutical residues, which are only insufficiently retained in the normal purification process. The developed coating technology which the partners have named „PEPcat“, allows post treatment of waste water effluents via sunlight using almost no energy or chemicals in case of success. During the demonstration project for investigating this plasmonically enhanced photocatalysis with sunlight, experiments will be performed using waste water at the sewage treatment plants in Aachen-Soers and Beijing Dongba.

The special feature of this project is the direct implementation of the small-scale research of PEPcat into the industrial production scale. In this context, Coatema will take over the upscaling of the process as well as the planning of a pilot line to produce nanostructures. By implementing a Roll-to-Plate (R2P) concept, production bottlenecks can be avoided and the future scaling of nanostructuring for even larger substrate areas or for the production of nanostructured substrates can be realised.



10/2018 – 09/2021 – OLEDSOLAR


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Innovative manufacturing of opto-electronic devices

Emerging opto-electronic devices open the way for exciting new applications every day. Meeting industry’s requirements for mass production of such smart next-generation devices requires addressing a range of emerging challenges to enable best-value production at high manufacturing volumes and optimal efficiency.

OLEDSOLAR aims to tackle these challenges by developing innovative manufacturing processes for critical steps in the production of opto-electronic devices, including Organic LED (OLED), organic photovoltaics (OPV) and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) based solar cells. Related project activities include scaling up reconfigurable high-yield processes, testing them in pilot lines and validating them in production lines.

A complete system of inspection, quality control, functional testing and measurements using advanced systems and sensors will be optimised in the project for efficient manufacturing of opto-electronics parts. A special focus here is on automation and advance data processing for the overall control and monitoring of roll-to-roll (R2R) and sheet-to-sheet (S2S) manufacturing processes. At the same time, recycling and re-use strategies will be developed to ensure resource efficiency and reduction of high-value product waste.

Coatema’s role is to further improve registration in R2R technologies at the Coatema R&D centre and at the Printocent demo line at VTT. Here Coatema will integrate the registration camera by VTT into the demo line and improve machinery in order to improve the overlay between consecutive printing jobs down to an accuracy of 50 micrometers or better for screen printing technology.



09/2019 – 08/2022 – EffiLayers

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„Process optimization regarding the roll-to-roll production of novel highly efficient organic photovoltaic cells-EffiLayers“

The EffiLayers project as the successor of Photonflex (2016 – 2019) and Flexlas (2012 – 2015) is focussing on the development, process optimization, and production of flexible, highly efficient, and ultra-thin organic solar cells using a roll-to-roll coating system.

Organic photovoltaic cells currently still exhibit lower efficiency and durability compared to traditional silicon-based solar cells. The qualification of novel and efficient materials, as well as the optimization of the coating application by means of roll-to-roll coating equipment, should contribute to a significant increase in efficiency.

Through wet chemical coating processes, the functional layers are applied in the nanometer scale by using a heatable slot-die and processed with different laser sources (short pulse and ultra-short pulse range). After photonic laser drying and thin-film ablation, the OPV cell is protectively sealed by laser encapsulation with a barrier film. The individual processes are monitored by various sensors, and a process control system is implemented.

In this project, Coatema is focusing in particular on the modification of the entire slot-die application process. The novel swiveling die-module enables a stable process through variable adjustment of the die in the range of 8 to 12 o’clock. A proposed horizontal mechanism for adjusting the die ensures precise adjustment or positioning of the substrate to be coated during multiple coating processes. For a uniform application of the substrate, an electrically heated die is used.

In collaboration with the partners, the new process optimizations of the roll-to-roll production are demonstrated and evaluated for the novel OPV cell.



01/2018 – 12/2021 – Greensense

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Sustainable, wireless, autonomous nanocellulose-based quantitative Drugs-of-Abuse (DoA) biosensing platform

Printed electronics is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Paper and plastic are two types of flexible materials that constitute key substrates in the development of future flexible electronic devices. On the contrary of those based on more conventional plastic substrates, paper-based electronics, made from cellulose, have the advantages of low cost, recyclability and can be expected to have a significant impact in the reduction of environmental impact of "electronic trash" and in providing new opportunities to the pulp/paper manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, the surface properties of conventional paper are not suitable for printed electronics and, typically plastic coatings based on fossil-oil polymers are applied. From a sustainable point of view, this has augmented the interest in alternative renewable biopolymer films and coatings with similar properties. Among the different alternatives, nanocellulose (NC) based films with strength, high aspect ratio, transparency and low porosity and smooth surface roughness are a promising potential alternative.

In the project GREENSENSE we merge healthcare diagnostics and printed electronics in the form of a fully-integrated biosensing platform using nanocellulose. The biosensing platform with the newly developed printed DoA biosensors will integrate different NC-based printed electronic components (supercapacitor and/or a primary battery as printed energy storage (E. storage), display and NFC antenna) and a single microchip to have energy autonomy, wireless communication and to be easy for the user to read the results. High output printing techniques, such as sheet-to-sheet (S2S) screen printing and/or inkjet printing will be used for the printing of the different functional inks onto NC-based substrates. The final NC-based biosensing platform will be easy to operate, flexible, mass producible, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, disposable, and recyclable and will have low power and energy consumption.



10/2017 – 09/2020 – SOLID

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Innovative solid state batteries based on sol-gel materials with a Li-metal anode and implemented 3D structure.

One key factor regarding the electro mobility future are inherently safe and power efficient battery technologies. Solid state approaches have the potential to fulfil these demands. Up to now the used processes and methods are not economical efficient scalable and the energy density is too low.

The objective within the project SOLID is the investigation of a solid state batteries based upon cost efficient production methods that are completely transferable to industrial scale respectively are already established in other sectors. The solid state approach enables one to use new cell concepts leading to a lower part of electro-chemical inactive materials and a lower cabling complexity. Starting from a material research for cathode- and electrolyte layers by the Fraunhofer ISC as well as an anode development by Applied Material solid state batteries in single layer format can be produced. Besides this, the Fraunhofer ISE investigates structuring of the electrical conductor and the cathode layer to reduce the intrinsic high resistances. Additionally LUNOVU develops novel laser-based methods for the crystallization behaviour of the cathode- and electrolyte layers. Coatema is going to transfer all methods to continuous processes or respectively Coatema is going to investigate the opportunity for an integration into a continuous process. The whole project is led by project coordinator Varta that is going to develop a new cell concept cooperating with all partners. Finally, the operational reliability of this solid state approaches is proven by a demonstrator.

The battery market is strongly dominated by Asian manufacturers. To participate in this market or even acquire a leadership it is important to execute basic research in the field of this future technologies. This project will create jobs along the whole supply chain, by the project lead of German small and medium size companies that use established German technologies.

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