Ecothermodynamics / Biocalorimetry

Research Group Ecothermodynamics / Biocalorimetry
Hassan Al-Fathi, Kurt-Tobias Mühler, Claudia Heber, Kristina Vogel, Monique Reichard, Christian Fricke, Anika Krämer, Thomas Maskow, Thore Rohwerder, Sven Paufler (from left to right; without Hieu Linh Duong)

Research Topics

Thermodynamics as a method to describe conditions and processes of complex systems offers an excellent supplement to kinetic and stoichiometric approaches, experience and intuition by well-founded scientific rules. Unfortunately, thermodynamics in ecosystems as well as in biotechnology is despite of its potential rather seldom applied.

Therefore, our group applys, develops and validates thermodynamic rules with the aims:

  • to deepen insights into complex networks of both ecosystems (Microbial Ecology, complex soil systems) and metabolisms (Biothermodynamics),
  • to develop stategies for microplastic recycling
  • to predict and to control the functional biodiversity (Ecological Microbiology),
  • to develop ultra-sensitive real time sensors for ecosystems and biotechnology (Biocalorimetry and Impedance spectroscopy), and
  • to analyse and to control complex bioprocesses in larger scale (Bioprocess control).
  • to understand interactions of nanomaterial with biological material

Senior Scientist     PhD                              and BA Students

Dr. Thore Rohwerder    Shiyyue Yang                          Hannah Riede

                                     Eliana Di Lodovico

                                     Noelia Fernandez Merayo





Sven Paufler (Deputy)

Anika Krämer (TA)

Hans Fritsche (Apprentice)


- Fermentation / reaction calorimetry      - Isothermal Microcalorimetry
- Chip calorimetry                                   - ITC & DSC
- Combustion calorimetry                       - Respirometry
- Impedance Spectroscopy                    - Fermentations
- Thermokinetic modelling

Selected Cooperations / Projects

 TherMic: Thermodynamics of microbial turnover of organic compounds in soil - matter and energy flux under varying environmental conditions.

 German Research Council (DFG MA 3746/8-1): Cooperation project with the department UBT

 DriverPool: Substrates affects microbial driven distribution of energy and matter among carbon functional pools in soil

 German Research Council (DFG, MA 3746/9-1) Cooperation project with the University Trier and Koblenz-Landau

 EnVeGeLegio: Development of a method and instruments for the fast detection of Legionella.

 Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (ZIM, ZF4315807RH7): Cooperation project with three samm and medium-sized enterprises

Glycolysis: Thermodynamics and predictions of metabolic pathways

German Research Foundation (DFG): Cooperation project with two universities (Rostock + Dortmund)

Production of chiral R-3-hydroxyalkanoates from methylotrophic bacteria using renewable raw materials

German Federation of Industrial Research Associations "Otto von Guericke" (AiF): Co-operation project with Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH Dresden (UIT)

Analysis and Control of Bioprocesses in natural and technical systems using chip-calorimetry

German Federation of Industrial Research Associations "Otto von Guericke" (AiF): Co-operation project with TU Freiberg, RWTH Aachen and 7 medium sized biotech companies)

Biothermodynamic characterization and analysis of biofilms using new miniaturized chip-calorimeters

German Research Foundation (DFG): Co-operation project with TU Freiberg