Tapping Nature's Potential
(IP TapNature):

Tapping nature’s potential for sustainable production and a healthy environment – towards a waste-minimized sustainable bioeconomy

Mission: Using nature’s resources and concepts, we develop technologies for the sustainable production of chemicals and energy carriers, the removal of anthropogenic chemicals in natural and engineered systems, and the development of water technologies to support climate adaptation in urban environments. Our technologies are driven by microbial systems ecology. They aim at high resource and land use efficiency and waste minimization to enable a sustainable and circular bioeconomy and a healthy environment.

For this purpose, ecological principles and biochemical potentials are identified, characterized, and tapped by innovative environmental engineering and biotechnology to serve societal needs.

IP TapNature profits from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. By integrating and applying methods from natural sciences and (bio)engineering, it strives

  • to replace fossil-based syntheses of chemicals and energy carriers by sustainable bioprocesses,
  • to manage the fate of chemicals in both natural and urban environments, and
  • to develop and implement technical options for resource-saving urban water cycles and heat management.

TapNature hosts four highly transdisciplinary and closely interlinked platform projects. Two of the projects are committed to the production of energy carriers and chemicals from renewable resources relying on minimal land use. They aim at the sustainable biotechnological production of (i) energy carriers (white hydrogen, methane, liquid fuels) and (ii) chemical building blocks for polymer, fine chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. The other two projects strive at better (climate-resilient, stressor-minimized, livable) conditions in rural and urban environments: One project deals with fate prediction and management of chemicals in environmental and technical systems to minimize their lifetime and effects on the environment and health. The other project develops technologies for innovative urban water and heat management to close urban water cycles, improve urban climate (blue green infrastructures, sponge city), and minimize energy use. Thereby, urban groundwater will be evaluated as heat and cold buffer store.

TapNature - List of projects:

  1. EBB: ElectroBiorefineries and Biosyntheses
  2. HYPRO: Sustainable concepts for the production, upgrading and storage of H2
  3. CityTech: Technologies for water and heat management in urban space
  4. FACE: Fate and management of chemicals in ecosystems