Areas of Research

Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and growing scarcity and rising prices of fossil fuels: These are the global challenges we currently face. Increased material and energetic utilisation of renewable resources and available residual biomass have become absolutely essential, from both an ecological and an economic standpoint. Intense research and development work on biomass utilisation lays the foundation for efficient and cost-effective exploitation of these resources.

The research activities of PFI Biotechnology’s interdisciplinary team of biotechnologists, microbiologists, chemists, and engineers are focussed on the areas of biogas, fermentation, and biomass pretreatment.


  • Microbiology of the biogas process
  • Use of additives in biogas plants (trace elements, enzymes)
  • Fermentation of poorly degradable lignin-containing substrates



  • Utilisation of lignocellulose for biotechnological production of biopolymers and platform chemicals
  • Fermentation of PHB from wheat straw
  • Fermentative production of 2G fuels from straw
  • Hemicellulose-based fermentative production of specialty products (C-5 sugars)


Pretreatment of Biomass

  • Development and optimisation of substrate-appropriate pretreatment processes
  • Pretreatment of straw by Thermal Pressure Hydrolysis (TPH)
  • Accelerated cellulose degradation by Process-controlled Enzymatic Hydrolysis  (PEH)

You can find examples of our completed projects here.


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