Biogas from sludge and organic residues

Biotechnological processes can be established economically and ecologically advantageous for the substance recycling along with waste treatment. The center of interest hereby is the use of anaerobic or substance producing aerobic microorganisms. The best known substance recycling process of organic materials such as bio-waste or sewage sludge (as a kind of residual biomass) is the recovery of biogas as a renewable energy source.

By integrating further appropriate process steps, additional value substances such as fertilizer salts (from nitrogen and phosphate ingredients of sludge, sludge water and waste) can be recovered.

Biogas – renewable energy with multifaceted potential

The generation of electricity from biogas, which is produced in biogas plants primarily from ensiled renewable raw materials, is an important pillar of renewable energies. Biogas occupies a special position in this context: While the generation of electricity from sun and wind is highly dependent on the weather, biogas can in principle be produced continuously, stored for a certain period of time and converted into electricity and heat in the combined heat and power plant by means of combined heat and power generation.

If biogas is purified accordingly, high-purity biomethane can be fed into the natural gas grid, used as a fuel (for natural gas vehicles) or used as a basic chemical substance.

Research fields


Sludge management on wastewater treatment plants

Our services in the area of sludge management on municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants cover various aspects and range from solutions for filamentous bulking and foaming, to process adaptation from aerobic to anaerobic sludge stabilization, to digester design and optimization of digester operation.  


Biogas from of organic waste and renewable raw materials

Organic substances rich in solid material with variable composition are found in several locations and processes. Fraunhofer IGB supplies customized, adapted solutions for the material and energetic use of by-products from the food industry and other organic material streams.


Utilization of biogas and biomethane

Organic residues which cannot be otherwise used are especially appropriate for anaerobic decomposition resulting in the final product biogas (methane and carbon dioxide). Our services range from biomethanation potential tests in laboratory scale up to the cooperation with engineering companies aiming to deliver optimal solutions to the final user.


Nutrient removal or recovery from process water and fermentation residues

In anaerobic sludge treatment, nutrients often remain in the aqueous phase. These nutrients can be removed or recovered from the resulting process water through appropriate process steps, e. g. for cultivation of microalgae or fertilizing watering in agriculture.