Biotechnological processes

The use of renewable raw materials by employing enzymatic synthesis of biobased chemicals and the fermentative production of biocatalysts or other metabolic products, for example organic solvents and acids, are objectives defined by the working group “Biotechnological Processes”.

The fermentation technology is supplemented by a cultivation platform for microalgae. As a natural and sustainable aquatic source of raw materials that makes available a wide range of basic chemical substances (e.g. essential fatty acids, vitamins or pigments) and provides an easily fermentable biomass, microalgae provide an ideal platform for coupled material/energetic processes.

The team possesses broadly based bioprocess engineering expertise in the feld of scale-up and process intensification.The processes developed on the laboratory scale in terms of their transferability to an industrially relevant scale are evaluated in the preliminary stages 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 biocatalysts (e.g. by immobilization on carrier materials).


Current issues

  • Enzyme production and biocatalysis
  • Fermentative production of carboxylic acids (maleic acid, xylonic acid, itaconic acid) from lignocellulose sugars
  • Production of high-value compounds from microalgae (fatty acids, pigments, polysaccharides)
  • Process development and scale-up

Our services: Piloting biotechnological production processes for industry

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.


Fraunhofer CBP – Partner for the optimization and scaling of biotechnological processes

The Bioprocess Scaling working group at Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna supports numerous industrial partners in the implementation of their projects year after year, in addition to participating in publicly funded and internal projects. The commissioned work relates to the scaling or optimization of fermentation processes, but also to studies on the scaling of downstream processes.

Broad product portfolio, international demand

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

Almost half of our clients are national and international start-ups, so we also support particularly young and highly innovative companies with our services. In general, our customer base includes companies from various countries, mainly from Europe, Asia (incl. Middle East) and North America.

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.

R&D services


Fermentative production of carboxylic acids

We develop new processes for the production of maleic acid, xylonic acid and itaconic acid from lignocellulose sugars.


Enzyme production and biocatalysis


High-value products from microalgae

We have extensive expertise in the cultivation of microalgae, as well as upstream and downstream processes on a pilot scale. In our greenhouse and outdoor cultivation plants we efficiently produce microalgae biomass in 40 flat panel airlift photobioreactors with a working volume of up to 180 liters each and a  total volume of 10,000 liters in order to separate fatty acids, pigments, polysaccharides.

Fermentative production of alcohols and solvents