Making Kilobaser ecologically sustainable

Lisa highly focussed while inserting a new microfluidic chip before the start of a new DNA synthesis with Kilobaser - Express DNA machine.
Lisa Deixler-Wimmer studies Recycling Technology at University of Leoben and has successfully completed a very varied internship at Kilobaser GmbH. Due to her inquisitive nature she gained insights into all working areas here in our headquarter in Graz. You can read more about her exciting experience and her tireless commitment of making Kilobaser ecologically sustainable in her activity report:

“I got to do a long, professional internship at Kilobaser GmbH for quite some weeks this summer! While all around me, the Kilobaser DNA printers were developed, produced and shipped, the initial focus of my internship was to analyse the recyclability of the packaging as well as the sustainability of the packaging process. I was looking for material alternatives which would be more ecological than the PE foam that is currently used. During this assignment I talked to many companies, obtaining information and offers that enabled me to make a meaningful product comparison. As a result of this work, Kilobaser GmbH will start to use a PE foam product made of 80% PE recyclables in the future.

In a next step, I took apart the instrument to see what materials it is made of. I did research on how the different types of plastics and metals can be disposed of in case the device reached its end of usability. Therefore I got in touch with companies specialized in the recycling of high performance material: Finally I informed Kilobaser GmbH about the companies´ individual disposal logistics and recommendations. I visited scrap and electronics dealers who buy used components. The aim was to find out whether steel/aluminium or motors and pneumatic/fluid units can be sold to a secondary market. The result was a cost/benefit calculation and a recyclables analysis: certain components of the DNA printer are reusable even after disassembly.

The third key task was to find a disposal option for the instrument in one piece and for the remaining quantities of chemicals. For this purpose I was in exchange with Graz Holding and Saubermacher GmbH, both of which deal in recycling and waste management. I learned that handing over the Kilobaser instrument to Graz Holding GmbH is free of charge. However, Saubermacher GmbH offers a professional recycling solution with a legal and approved disposal certificate.

In a fourth project, I created a packing for the control panel. I was asked to do a guidance of how to build and package the control panel with its holder. In order to get a good feeling for this task I was introduced to the heavy machinery in the workshop. I did not only mold plastic by heat but I also operated the sandblasting machine. My colleagues introduced me to different gluing techniques for plastic. During my time in the chemical laboratory I learned about DNA synthesis and numerous chemicals. I got to know how to pipette several dilution series myself and judge their quality by analysis via a photometer.

All in all I truly enjoyed this extremely exciting and varied time with great colleagues.”

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