One of DEBAG AG’s main activities lies in the area of research and development. International joint ventures and an excellent network of researchers provide a solid foundation for innovation and thereby the basis for the future success of the company. Through its collaborative efforts with external partners and capital lenders in open-innovation concepts and outside-in processes, DEBAG AG is able to operate without public support or state subsidy.
In November 2011, DEBAG AG launched its first-ever flood control project. Working in collaboration with the IPQ Institute, research and development began on flood protection measures that use innovative mineral sealing materials with integrated fiber optic sensors. The project aims to develop novel types of water barriers that can provide automated online monitoring of dikes and levees by incorporating the same sort of glass fibers used in telecommunications technology. A total of one million euros have been invested in the project.
Biological Oil Barrier
In May of 2013, DEBAG AG launched its second project in the form of a joint research project aimed at developing a novel process for sequestering crude oil on surface waters. Development is based on new types of clay materials with special properties for combatting oil spills on inland waterways and at sea. The special structure of this newly developed, organic granulate ensures maximum environmental regeneration in a short period of time. Total investment in this project amounts to two million euros.
The research projects undertaken by DEBAG AG are based on the mineral properties found in clay.
The DEBAG Group owns mineral deposits in northern Germany. These deposits and the raw materials they contain were extensively investigated by experts and have been analyzed and verified by state-certified consultants. This analysis was corroborated by the Technical University of Berlin in 2013.
Along with a variety of raw materials, the enormous amount of clay contained in these deposits constitutes the most important component for our research and development efforts.
The deposits involve special repelian clay that is of marine origin and stratigraphically associated with the Oligocene. These tertiary clays were embedded as massive plates in Pleistocene sediments through glaciodynamic processes. This clay possesses properties that classify it as one of the most valuable materials in its category. The presence of muscovite-montmorillonite-mixed-layer-minerals provide this clay with bentonite-like properties. The mineralogical, geochemical and rheological characteristics are subject to depth-dependent variance.
The composition of the materials was determined as shown in the following:
- Loss on ignition: 9.3% – 9.4%.
- Water permeability coefficient: kf < 10 (-11) m/s.
- The cation exchange capacity is 50 mval/100g.
Independent of the research projects at DEBAG AG, this precious raw material possesses in its basic form excellent characteristics for use in a variety of different applications.
- Mineral sealing and geological barriers for landfills
- Horizontal and vertical encapsulation of legacy waste
- Encapsulation of contaminated environmental pollutants
- Bank reinforcement and mineral sealing for hydraulic engineering
- Restoration of eutrophic lakes and other standing bodies of water
- Sealing of contaminated sites, immobilization of pollutants in contaminated substrates
- Fixation of pollutants and toxins
- Water treatment
- Adsorption of pollutants, toxins and heavy metals in industrial waste water systems
- Conditioning of slurry
- Storage of highly contaminated substrates
- Mineral oil binder with high absorptive qualities for mineral oils
- Construction waterproofing, earthworks, embanking, moisture barriers for older structures
- Masonry restoration
- Sealant for railway superstructures
- Mineral sealants for retaining wall construction
- Concrete additive, brick industry, clinker and roof tile industry
- Geo-construction materials geopolymer bonding systems
- Caps for drill holes
- Rinse additive for drilling work
- Injection grout for gallery sealing
- Bond for refractory materials
- Additive for enhancing ceramic properties
- Frost-resistant floor ceramics
- Ceramic engobes for roof tiles
- Molding sand binder
- Burial and relocation of large volume gas and oil pipelines
- Mineral bonding material for roadways, sports facilities, nature walkways
- Sealant for gardening use
- Sealant for golf courses
Cosmetics and Medicine
- Restorative clay, mud packs, masks
- Applications in the fields of natural cosmetics and wellness
- Clay minerals for detoxification and colon therapy
- Feed additive designated E588
- Compound feed and dietary supplement for calves
- Remediation of old bio-gas plants