The use of renewable raw materials and biogenic residues in sustainable production processes offers alternative solutions for chemistry based on fossil raw materials. Particular importance is attached to white/industrial biotechnology, which produces platform and fine chemicals as well as fuels using biotechnological or combined processes. Biogenic raw materials such as lignocellulose or vegetable oils are preferred in such biorefinery concepts in order to obtain environmentally compatible products.
Research in the field of industrial, white biotechnology at Fraunhofer IGB is performed in an interdisciplinary manner. The activities of the Industrial Biotechnology Group headed by Dr. Susanne Zibek focus on establishing, optimizing and upscaling biotransformation processes in which raw materials are transformed into usable products either with the aid of microorganisms or enzymes. We combine the development of transformation processes on a laboratory scale and the optimization of the biocatalysts themselves with the transfer of the processes to larger scales. In addition, we can increase the scale up to the pilot scale either at our customers' and project partners' facilities or at the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP.
With our interdisciplinary orientation in biology, chemistry and process engineering, we cover the entire process chain and create the prerequisites for the scalability of our processes already at the laboratory scale. Cooperation with a wide variety of project partners from industry enables us to develop ecologically and economically sensible, sustainable future technologies.
Enzyme screening and production of biocatalysts
We are concerned with the screening for new, industrially usable enzymes and the optimized recombinant production of these enzymes. Alternatively, we use microorganisms as biocatalysts, which we isolate from various sources or optimize for the desired process with the help of metabolic analyses.