Focus and Competences

Focus

The Straubing branch develops catalytic processes and new renewables-based products to enable a sustainable future supply of raw materials and energy to industry and society. The focus is on the development of new chemical catalysts and biocatalysts and their application in technical processes. We work with the entire spectrum of catalysis – comprising heterogeneous and homogeneous chemical catalysis, enzymatic and whole cell catalysis, and the combination of these – which we use to synthesize new products from substrates such as biomass, CO2 and waste streams. These new products include, for example, epoxides and monomers from terpenes, which are obtained from plants and residual materials in wood processing. Further examples are monomers derived from lignin for use in conductive polymers, functionalized carboxylic acids and biobased surfactants derived from sugars, plant oils and fatty acids. Additionally, BioCat develops processes to convert excess electrical energy into fuel through the capture and conversion of CO2. These products and their production processes are made available to companies for the production of bulk and fine chemicals. Alternatively, they can be used to store energy in chemical carriers such as long chain hydrocarbons, and therefore contribute to the success of the energy turnaround. The group’s goal is the best possible utilization of resources along the entire value chain from raw material to biobased end product.

Competences

Besides wide-ranging expertise in biotechnology (enzyme technology, fermentation, screening of biocatalysts) and chemistry (organic synthesis, analytics, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis), the BioCat branch, which is composed of biotechnologists, molecular biologists and chemists specialized in catalysis and synthesis, can offer in-depth knowledge in the field of biogenic raw materials and natural materials. By pooling these interdisciplinary specializations, we are able not only to provide scientific and technical consulting services, but, in particular, to carry out developmental work hand in hand with future customers in the following areas: new catalysts, as well as the optimization of existing catalysts and processes, new materials, and new reactions.

  • Chemical (homogeneous and heterogeneous) catalysis, biocatalysis (enzymes), screening for catalysts (biocatalysts, chemical catalysts) and organic synthesis 
  • Molecular-biological and technical optimization of enzymes and enzymatic reactions 
  • Analyses of natural materials and chemical reactions (e.g. high-resolution NMR analytics, high-throughput LC-MS and GC-MS)
  • Reactor technology for substrates (e.g. biomass)