Biotechnological processes

Industrial biotechnology is a key technology for the development of a sustainable chemical industry and especially for the bioeconomy.

While academic research laboratories are widespread, pilot plants are still rarely found. Yet they are urgently needed, especially for smaller companies, to prepare innovations for the commercialization of new products. In addition to the technical advancement of biotechnological processes, the provision of larger quantities of material for application research as well as process data for economic and other studies on the feasibility of a manufacturing process are of particular importance.

In Industrial Biotechnology at the CBP we work on the material utilization of renewable raw materials by employing enzymatic synthesis or fermentative production of biobased chemicals, for example organic solvents and acids. We are also engaged in the recombinant production of proteins and enzymes for various applications.

Current R&D topics

  • Fermentative production of
    • milk proteins and other food substitutes
    • organic acids (e.g. xylonic acid), solvents (e.g. butanol) and other bulk chemicals
    • fine and specialty chemicals (e.g. dyes)
    • technical and other enzymes
  • Utilization of alternative carbon sources in fermentation (e.g. lignocellulosic hydrolysates or methanol)
  • Scaling of enzymatic conversions and syntheses
  • Scale-up and establishment of downstream processing strategies of fermentations and enzymatic reactions

Range of services

The team possesses broad bioprocess engineering expertise in the field of scale-up and process intensification. The processes developed on the laboratory scale are evaluated in the preliminary stages in terms of their transferability to industrially relevant equipment at scale and are optimized repetitively during transfer and scale-up. This includes, for example, the adjustment of process control strategies (batch, fed-batch, continuous) and integrated product purification to reduce the number of process steps or the reutilization of the deployed resources, e.g. by immobilization of biocatalysts on carrier materials.

Partner for optimizing and scaling up biotechnological processes

Since more than ten years, the Bioprocess Scaling working group at Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna is making a significant contribution to the introduction of new biotechnological processes in industry. In particular, it supports start-ups as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany, Europe and from all over the world in the implementation of their projects by providing equipment and know-how for the scaling and optimization of fermentation processes and the associated downstream processes.

Broad product portfolio: fine and specialty chemicals, proteins, monomers for plastics

Our clients come from a wide range of industries, including materials and plastics, food and dietary supplements, animal feed, dyes, basic and bulk chemicals.

Currently, interest in our expertise of developing fermentative processes for the production of alternative proteins (e.g. milk proteins) continues unabated.

We are looking forward to cooperating with other entrepreneurs and scientists, also in the context of publicly funded projects. Please feel free to approach us with your ideas or challenges to explore solutions together.


Fermentative production of carboxylic acids

New processes for the production of maleic acid, xylonic acid and itaconic acid from lignocellulose sugars


Enzyme production and biocatalysis

Fermentative production of alcohols and solvents