Research activities

Up-cycling of biomass waste streams

A growing world population and technological innovations have led to a growing economy with higher consumption of energy and materials and  hence to a growing petro-chemical production. The consequences of this development are an increasing pollution of air and sea due to higher waste streams and climate change acceleration due to higher greenhouse gas emission. To overcome the growing gap between environmental sustainability and economic growth, the development of a bio-based economy, where biomass from sustainable sources and especially waste streams can be processed to viable bio-energies, -chemicals, -materials, feed and food, is mandatory.

Biomass waste streams, like e.g. vegetative plant material, are often left on fields for rotting or used for energy production. Biomass wastes can be rich in bioactive molecules, which can be used as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents. These molecules e.g. can play a major role against environmental pathogens or as drop-in's for chemical production. The aim of the doctoral thesis is the development of a cascade downstream process for the production of bioactive molecules from waste streams, such waste streams can be tomato plant, citrus fruit, wood residues or alike. The high amount of terpenoids, phenolic compounds and glycoalkaloids of these feedstocks, the high availability of these wastes and the low utilization for higher valuable products make them attractive for further process development and valorization.

Biomass waste cycle with additional valorization

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Research field
  • Isolation of (bioactive) molecules

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