WP 1: Development of biotechnological processes for the production of materials and energy carriers


We want to develop and control sustainable bioprocesses that allow efficient resource use for the production of chemicals and energy carriers.


The development of environmental and industrial biotechnologies for the sustainable production of energy carriers and feedstock chemicals is a core challenge for the realization of a bio-based economy. For the latter, the utilization of renewable resources as well as waste and wastewater streams plays a key role. Thereby, this work package contributes to solving one of the most pressing issues in our society, the unsustainable use of resources. The aim of this work package is the development and analysis of new chemical and biotechnological processes for the efficient use of inorganic and organic resources. The fundamental understanding of these processes on a molecular and cellular level will allow unlocking new microbial capabilities for biobased production.

Our work aims to answer the following key questions:

  1. Which microbial resources can be utilized for sustainable and efficient bioprocesses and how can these processes be realized?
  2. How can we control such bioprocesses and transfer them into application?

In order to achieve these aims, we are developing a broad portfolio of technologies ranging from the use of complex microbial communities over pure cultures, molecular biology approaches and metabolic engineering to the exploration of new feedstocks for next generation bioprocesses. Photo- or electro-biotechnological processes based on organics or CO2 are used as well as traditional fermentation of organic carbon substrates. Target compounds include energy carriers such as hydrogen, methane, or aliphatic hydrocarbons as well as chemical precursors for bulk and specialty applications such as organic acids, alcohols, aromatics, or functionalized fatty acids.
Scope: All work focusing on the development of sustainable bioprocesses for the efficient production of chemicals and fuels.


  • Analysis and control of bioprocesses on a cellular level, including but not limited to Metabolic Engineering of pure cultures (e.g., cyanobacteria, E. coli, Pseudomonads …)
  • Analysis and control of bioprocesses on the microbial community level, including but not limited to anaerobic conversions (methanation of biomass/organic waste and renewable hydrogen, carboxylate platform, syngas platform)
  • Development of efficient reaction and process technologies, including but not limited to sensing, monitoring, controlling, multi-phase systems, biofilm reactors, photo-bioreactors, electro-bioreactors


PD Dr. Falk Harnisch
Department Environmental Microbiology
Dr. Sabine Kleinsteuber
Department Environmental Microbiology
Dr. Jens O. Krömer
Department Solar Materials