Industrial biotechnology

The use of renewable raw materials and biogenic residues in sustainable production processes offers alternative solutions for chemistry based on fossil raw materials. The aim of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Field is the development of biotechnological processes for the production of biobased fine and platform chemicals for further processing in the chemical industry or in branches such as cosmetics, cleaning agents and plastics or adhesives.

Conversion of sugars and oils with enzymes and microorganisms

We primarily use monosaccharides, vegetable oils or other biobased extracts as raw materials for biotechnological conversion. We are concerned with screening for new, industrially usable enzymes and the optimized recombinant production of these enzymes. In addition, we use novel microorganisms as biocatalysts.

Process development, optimization, scale-up

Processes are optimized with regard to influencing factors of substrates and culture media components and adapted for scale-up. Thus, in addition to development, a transfer of the new process concepts from laboratory to pilot plant scale (10,000 liters fermentation capacity) can be optimized.

One focus is on adaptation to alternative carbon sources, e.g. sugar hydrolysates from wood waste, which are produced in the in-house organosolv process. The main objective is the alternative production of chemicals, which are usually extracted from crude oil.

In addition, enzymes and other proteins are produced. The fermentative production and liquefaction of gaseous products in an ATEX-capable demonstration plant with over 1,500 measuring points is also part of the competence of biotechnology.

Due to the wide range of equipment, up- and downstream processes can be carried out promptly. The similar constructed and well characterized bioreactors allow the scaling of processes according to various criteria up to industrial maturity.

 

Bioprocess engineering

Development, establishment and optimization of biotransformation processes, in which either microorganisms or enzymes are used to convert raw materials into usable products. Thanks to 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 on a laboratory scale. 

 

Bioprocess scale-up

With our bioprocess engineering know-how, we evaluate the processes developed on a laboratory scale with regard to their transferability to an industrial scale and iteratively optimize them during transfer and scale-up. This includes the adaptation of process control strategies and integrated product purification to reduce process steps or the reuse of biocatalysts. We also provide sample quantities for application tests.

 

Process demonstration isobutene

A novel process for the production of isobutene is based on the fermentative production of gaseous isobutene from sugars using genetically modified microorganisms. The metabolic pathway from sugars to isobutene was developed by the company Global Bioenergies using molecular biological methods. To scale up this process, we operate a demonstration plant with a nominal capacity of 100 tonnes per year and a fermentation volume of 5000 litres.