Sustainable chemistry

Development, scaling and optimization of processes for the production of sustainable chemicals, fuels and materials from biogenic raw/residual materials or CO2

Faced with environmental regulations, international competition and new legislation, the chemical industry and its downstream industries have to continuously improve their production processes. The Sustainable Chemistry business area provides solutions which are not only economic but also more ecological according to the model of a circular economy. Our prime objective is to develop highly efficient conversion processes – in terms of both energy and resources – based on renewable raw materials, residues or CO2, coupled with intelligent solutions for downstream processing. Supplemented by the bioinspired production of new polymer materials, functionalization by means of different technologies and the material and biological characterization, complete process cycles can be demonstrated up to pilot scale.


Fraunhofer IGB is active in the development of:

  • Pretreatment and fractionation processes for raw materials
  • Industrial biotechnology processes for selectively converting materials by means of enzymatic or fermentation processes
  • Chemocatalytic, electrochemical and electrobiological processes and their combination with biotechnological processes
  • Power-to-X-to-Y cascade processes for the utilization of regenerative produced redox equivalents in synthesis processes, e.g. for using CO2
  • Bioinspired synthesis routes for the production of fine and specialty chemicals, polymers, and functional materials
  • Membranes for efficient gas separation, e.g. for CO2 capture and storage or for membrane reacstors (e.g. syngas production)
  • Customized thin films and functionalized surfaces


Fraunhofer IGB is helping to drive the transformation of the process industry, especially in the chemicals sector, and contributes to all four segments of the bioeconomy: food, animal feed, sustainable chemical products and bioenergy (see the Environment and Climate Protection business area).  

Target markets

Fraunhofer IGB is a partner for industrial companies that produce, process or use chemicals or polymers, engineering companies and equipment producers. We focus on the following areas:

Further information


From raw material to product: our offer for the production of biobased chemicals

From the fractionation of raw materials, through material conversion to upscaling


Modular plant engineering

With our broad engineering expertise, we can take aspects of modular plant design into account in process development and implement them right up to demonstration.


Platform: Separation technologies

Fraunhofer IGB has established a wide range of different separation processes and has the corresponding apparatus and equipment available, both on a laboratory and pilot scale.