In this blog post we have the great honour to present the partner in mission without whom Wasser 3.0 would not be Wasser 3.0.
abcr GmbH has been by our side since our first attempts at water treatment with hybrid silica gels. In many projects we have been able to combine our know-how, our drive and our visions and open up completely new paths.
With responsible research and development we have been demonstrating the potentials of green chemistry for clean water for 10 years.
abcr stands for Gute Chemie (Good Chemistry). This is what the family-owned company based in Germany and Europe has been offering its customers for 35 years with more than 400,00 specialty chemicals - from grams to tons from its own synthesis laboratory.
Good chemistry also prevails between abcr and Wasser 3.0! We understand each other and tackle existing and future water treatment issues with ever new vigor.
Jens Ehle from abcr sums up their mindset like this:
"Responsibility towards people and the environment will become an even stronger starting point for new business ideas in the future. Sustainability and innovations are essential drivers for our healthy and steady growth."
Open ears for new ideas
abcr's openness and commitment to sustainable innovation has been evident since our first contact. Back then Katrin Schuhen wrote an email to email@example.com in her then role as junior professor for organic and ecological chemistry.
She had a position at the university, but it did not include funding or a lab for her research. Pragmatic and hands-on as she is, she set out to find industrial collaborators to explore an idea that had been on her mind since her PhD - the use of hybrid silica gels for the removal of micropollutants and microplastics from water.
So for her research, she looked for hybrid silica gels as well as other chemicals - and found them at abcr. In person, it is Anne Steinmann who has the historical role of the very first contact between abcr and Wasser 3.0. In this context, the word "truffle pig" is used with the greatest respect and sympathy.
Chemists have a solution for everything
This initial contact soon led to a meeting between the then COO, now Managing Director Dr. Jan Schuricht, and Katrin Schuhen.
In the words of Katrin Schuhen, this was the "beginning of a wonderful friendship" between two chemists who are now making their shared vision of water without microplastics and micropollutants a reality through Green Chemistry.
SME, science and ZIM funding: research bears fruit
The 10-year cooperation between abcr as an SME and Wasser 3.0 research is living sustainable innovation in Germany. It is made possible by so-called ZIM project funding from the former Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and today's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) coupled with a lot of motivation and enthusiasm of all participants.
The results are impressive. By now, a process based on hybrid silica gels for the removal of micropollutants and microplastics from water is in long-term piloting at the Landau-Mörlheim municipal wastewater treatment plant. The first industrial customers are also already treating their process water with Wasser 3.0 PE-X®.
And the exploration of new possibilities continues to develop. Thus, not only our hybrid silica gels come from abcr. Also the fluorescent markers, on which our innovative detection method of microplastics in water is based, are produced in larger scales by the abcr laboratory experts in Bruchsal.
The many small and large steps that abcr and Wasser 3.0 have taken together so far with research and development projects have received several national and international awards. Starting in 2015 with the GreenTech Award followed by the Environmental Award of the Hans-Raab Foundation and the Environmental Award of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, and last year, among others, the Aquatech Innovation Award in the category Green Chemicals for Water and the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, with which the Wasser 3.0 PE-X® process was recognized as both ecologically and economically sensible.
It shows once again: Simply good chemistry
At our site at the Landau-Mörlheim wastewater treatment plant, abcr and Wasser 3.0 co-workers realize new ideas and solutions for water without microplastics and micropollutants every day.
It is not only the chemists of abcr and our great interface of the Innovation Center with Dr. Christoph Hussal-Raic who support and inspire us at abcr.
From all sides we always get a lot of inspiring input, meet enthusiastic discussion and great people from purchasing to sales, in the warehouse, sourcing, IT and HR.
Many marketing ideas enrich our science communication. We recently discussed the important role of Gordana Graf, who is responsible for abcr's marketing, in our blog post about the German Brand Award.
At this point, a big thank you to all of you - we look forward to the future with you!
By the way
We are nominated for the Best of Industry Award in the category Sustainability and you can vote for us. It is not necessary to share your data. Voting also works without filling out the input mask. This direct link will take you to the voting page here. Thank you very much!