Resource recovery: Nutrients, metals, biogas

Range of services – biogas production from sludge and organic waste

For more than 40 years Fraunhofer IGB has been developing biotechnological processes for the treatment of water and waste – from the microbiological fundamentals to a technical and pilot scale plant.

The range of our services extends from digestion tests on laboratory scale to determine the degradability and the biogas yield, to investigations on pilot plant scale to determine design parameters for biogas plants, to the realization of plants on technical scale in cooperation with engineering offices. All developments are carried out with the aim of providing optimal and specific solutions for the user.

  • Feasibility studies: Investigation of the fermentability, quantification of the biogas yield of substrates / cosubstrates
  • Characterization of solids and substrates: Qualitative and quantitative biogas analysis, analysis of substrate ingredients
  • Specific analysis of processes with the aim of process improvements: elimination of faults, increase of efficiency, process optimization
  • Anaerobic processes as an alternative to aerobic processes
  • Determination of potential for increasing the performance of processes, e.g. wastewater treatment, biogas plants, sewage sludge digestion
  • Process development for anaerobic treatment of organic residues, e.g. from agriculture, food processing, production
  • Technical implementation up to pilot scale
  • Scientific support during the commissioning of processes on a technical scale

Range of services – nutrient recovery and production of fertilizers

Pellets aus Gärresten.
Pellets from digestate.
Pellets from olive oil production residues.
pellets of waste from the production of olive oil.

Nutrient recovery

  • Chemical and physical characterization of raw materials and residues with regard to their nutrient content
  • Development of strategies and technologies for optimum recovery of nutrients and organic matter
  • Modelling of processes, statistical experiment design, laboratory experiments, reactor design and scale-up
  • Feasibility studies, including experimentation with our struvite plant and superheated steam dryer
  • Thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of the precipitation of different salts for the assessment of competitive reactions

Product studies

  • Stability and altering studies of liquid fertilizer according to CIPAC
  • Online particle measurement (1 µm – 2.5 mm) of nutrient crystals

Formulation and processing of fertilizers

  • Development of multicomponent fertilizers
  • Formulation and processing of multicomponent fertilizer from liquid and solid residues with repellent properties
  • Production of organic liquid fertilizer and plant strengtheners by means of extraction and suspension processes
  • Developing methods of separating, drying and pelletizing fertilizing agents

Infrastructure and technical equipment



  • Bioreactors of different types and sizes (laboratory, pilot and technical scale)
  • Pilot plant for environmental and bioprocess engineering
  • Mobile pilot plants in m3 scale for the generation of design data on site for the planning and construction of innovative demonstration plants


Nutrient recovery