Bin Liu


Bin Liu
PhD Student

Department of Environmental Microbiology
Working Group Microbiology of Anaerobic Systems
Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

in cooperation with

Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)
Torgauer Str. 116, 04347 Leipzig, Germany

Phone +49 341 2434-589

Bin Liu

CV / Scientific Career

Since 10/2016

PhD student

Fellowship by China Scholarship Council (CSC)

Topic: Applied Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Reactor Microbiomes

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Hauke Harms

Dr. Sabine Kleinsteuber

Dr. Heike Sträuber

Department Environmental Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in cooperation with the Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ)

2014 - 2016

Master of Science in Agronomy

Agricultural Resources and Environment (Biomass Engineering), College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing

Topic 1: Microbial community dynamics during composting of biogas residues

Topic 2: Anaerobic digestion of lignocellulose and dynamics in reactor microbiomes

2009 – 2014

2009-2010 Engineering Mechanics


Bachelor of Science in Environment

College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing

Bachelor of Management in Marketing

China Agricultural University, Beijing

Research interests

My research focuses on the microbial ecology of anaerobic systems, particularly engineered ecosystems such as anaerobic reactors. My passion with microbial ecology is the potential to predict and further control microbial communities. An ultimate dream is using ecological principles to develop microbiome-based biotechnological processes that are environmentally friendly.

I am also enthusiastic about isolating pure cultures, in particular of anaerobes.

Chain elongation with lactate

Current research topic

My current topic is exploring how to shape the reactor microbiota in a newly developed platform - carboxylate platform, which recovers carbon from wastes or plant biomass with anaerobic fermenters in the form of medium-chain carboxylic acids (e.g., caproic acid and caprylic acid). Including these parts:

1. Acclimating chain-elongating reactor microbiota with defined carbon sources (xylan and lactate)
During long-term reactor operation under constant conditions, we found chain-elongating bacteria were outcompeted by butyrate-producing bacteria, leading to the increase of n-butyrate yield at the cost of medium-chain carboxylate yields in a closed model system. (published in Frontiers in Microbiology)

2. Shaping reactor microbiota in chain elongation system

we wanted to explore how changing process parameters shape the existing microbiota to optimize the process.

3. Isolating novel chain-elongating species
We aimed to obtain novel bacterial strains that can produce medium-chain carboxylic acids from lactic acid.


11-12. Liu.B. Two manuscripts of my phd project are in preparation

10. Liu, B., Sträuber, H., Saravia, J.P., Harms, H., Sandra, G.S., Kleinsteuber, S. # and da Rocha, U. N. # (2020). Machine learning-assisted identification of bioindicators predicts medium-chain carboxylate production performance of an anaerobic mixed culture. Submitted; (# Corresponding authors)
9. Liu, B., Popp, D., Müller, N., Sträuber, H., Harms, H. and Kleinsteuber, S. # (2020). Three Novel Clostridia Isolates Produce n-Caproate and iso-Butyrate from Lactate: Comparative Genomics of Chain-Elongating Bacteria. Microorganisms, Vol. 8, No. 1970.

8. Liu, B., Popp, D., Sträuber, H., Harms, H. and Kleinsteuber, S. (2020). Draft genome sequences of three Clostridia isolates involved in lactate-based chain elongation. Microbiology Resource Announcements, Vol. 9, No. e00679-20.

7. Liu, B., Kleinsteuber, S., Centler, F., Harms, H. and Sträuber, H. (2020). Competition between butyrate fermenters and chain-elongating bacteria limits the efficiency of medium-chain carboxylate production. Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 11, No. 336.
6. Lian, S., Nikolausz, M., Nijenhuis, I., da Rocha, U. N., Liu, B., Corrêa, F.B., Saraiva, J.P. and Richnow, H.H. (2020). Biotransformation of hexachlorocyclohexanes contaminated biomass for energetic utilization demonstrated in continuous anaerobic digestion system. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 384, No. 121448.
5. Meng, X. #, Liu, B. #, Zhang, H., Wu, J., Yuan, X. and Cui Z. (2019). Co-composting of the biogas residues and spent mushroom substrate: physicochemical properties and maturity assessment. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 276, pp. 281–287. (# these authors contributed equally to the work)
4. Meng, X., Liu, B., Chen X., Luo, X., Yuan, X., Wang, X., Zhu, W., Wang, H. and Cui, Z. (2018). Effect of pig manure on the chemical composition and microbial diversity during co-composting with spent mushroom substrate and rice husks. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 251, pp. 22-30.
3. Yu, J., Zhao, Y., Liu, B., Zhao, Y., Wu, J., Yuan, X., Zhu, W. and Cui, Z. (2016). Accelerated acidification by inoculation with a microbial consortia in a complex open environment. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 216, pp. 294–301.
2. Hua, B., Dai, J., Liu, B., Zhang, H., Yuan, X., Wang, X.and Cui. Z. (2016). Pretreatment of non-sterile, rotted silage maize straw by the microbial community MC1 increases biogas production. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 216, pp. 699–705.
1. Liu, B., Han, Y., Yuan, X., Zhu, W., Wang, X. and Cui. Z. (2016). Effects of five fungal chaff pretreatment methods on substrate properties and growth of rice seedlings. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, Vol. 49, No. 16, pp. 3098-3107.

2020 (4)

2019 (1)

2018 (1)