Biotechnological processes

The use of renewable raw materials by employing enzymatic synthesis of biobased chemicals and the fermentative production of biocatalysts or other metabolic products, for example organic solvents and acids, are objectives defined by the working group “Biotechnological Processes”.

The fermentation technology is supplemented by a cultivation platform for microalgae. As a natural and sustainable aquatic source of raw materials that makes available a wide range of basic chemical substances (e.g. essential fatty acids, vitamins or pigments) and provides an easily fermentable biomass, microalgae provide an ideal platform for coupled material/energetic processes.

The team possesses broadly based bioprocess engineering expertise in the feld of scale-up and process intensification.The processes developed on the laboratory scale in terms of their transferability to an industrially relevant scale are evaluated in the preliminary stages and are optimized repetitively during transfer and scale-up. This includes, for example, the adjustment of process control strategies (batch, fed-batch, continuous) and integrated product purification to reduce the number of process steps or the reutilization of the biocatalysts (e.g. by immobilization on carrier materials).


Current issues

  • Enzyme production and biocatalysis
  • Fermentative production of carboxylic acids (maleic acid, xylonic acid, itaconic acid) from lignocellulose sugars
  • Production of high-value compounds from microalgae (fatty acids, pigments, polysaccharides)
  • Process development and scale-up

R&D services


Fermentative production of carboxylic acids

We develop new processes for the production of maleic acid, xylonic acid and itaconic acid from lignocellulose sugars.


Enzyme production and biocatalysis


High-value products from microalgae

We have extensive expertise in the cultivation of microalgae, as well as upstream and downstream processes on a pilot scale. In our greenhouse and outdoor cultivation plants we efficiently produce microalgae biomass in 40 flat panel airlift photobioreactors with a working volume of up to 180 liters each and a  total volume of 10,000 liters in order to separate fatty acids, pigments, polysaccharides.

Fermentative production of alcohols and solvents