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Materials and chemicals

Biomass can be used to produce chemicals, fibres, pigments and plastics. These products are either identical to their petroleum-based counterparts or have completely new properties. Biorefineries will play a key role in the transition to a bioeconomy. There is great expectation placed on the potential ability to convert the countless carbon compounds in biomass into chemicals and material components.

  • Article - 17-Sep-2012

    Thomas Paulöhrl, polymer chemist from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), was awarded the 2012 Lanxess Talent Award for his achievements in further developing light-induced click strategies that can now be used for generating various surface structures and three-dimensional frameworks. His Ph.D. thesis not only provides the basis for new ways to efficiently modify material, it also opens up new research opportunities in medical drug discovery.

  • Article - 03-Sep-2012

    Unicellular, aquatic dinoflagellates are masters of what is known as nested symbiosis. They engulf chloroplast-carrying organisms which enable them to photosynthesize sunlight. While this type of symbiotic relationship enables dinoflagellates to survive, the toxins produced by algal blooms, which typically involve dinoflagellates, can have a deadly effect on marine life. This in turn can also affect organisms that consume marine life – including humans. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart are studying the variety and complexity of such symbiotic life forms.

  • Article - 06-Aug-2012

    SystemsX.ch is currently the biggest research initiative in Switzerland to provide financial support and technologies in the field of systems biology research. It is a consortium of twelve Swiss research institutions and universities but also works with non-Swiss institutions including the Baden-Württemberg-based company KNIME GmbH. The initiative is interested in expanding its cooperation with other life sciences companies and universities.

  • Article - 30-Jul-2012

    Technical problems? Well, why not have a look at the solutions offered by nature? Prof. Dr. Peter M. Kunz from the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences did just this and was able to help the company LAMY produce special fountain pens and save time and money.

  • Article - 23-Jul-2012

    Thermophilic and hyperthermophilic archaea and bacteria give us an idea of the conditions under which organisms evolved as long as 3.5 billion years ago. It is still unclear whether the first cells originated on the surface of hot volcanic springs or on hydrothermal vents in oceans.

  • Article - 23-Jul-2012

    At first sight nothing much seems to grow in either the Namib desert or the Antarctic. However a closer inspection of the ground a few centimetres below the surface reveals an enormous diversity of organisms. Industry is well aware of this rich source of microorganisms that have something to offer on the molecular level as well as for use in technical applications. So-called extremozymes have long been popular ingredients in cosmetics detergents and medicines. However little is yet known about their properties and application potential. Prof. Dr. Christoph Syldatk and his team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT are involved in the search for biochemical exotics and are extremely enthusiastic about what remains to be discovered.

  • Article - 23-Jul-2012

    Most of what is easily accessible has in principle already been discovered said Dr. Ivan Berg from the University of Freiburg explaining why he is investigating the metabolic pathways in extremophilic microorganisms. The researcher and his team are interested in the biochemistry of organisms living in hot volcanic springs and the Dead Sea. Examples of this are two metabolic pathways which the researchers from Freiburg discovered in organisms belonging to the Crenarchaeota. The bacteria use the pathways to assimilate atmospheric carbon dioxide without the risk of poisoning themselves with the breakdown products arising at high temperatures. What can industry learn from extremophilic bacteria? What are the advantages and disadvantages for laboratory applications? And what can we learn from them about evolution on Earth?

  • Article - 16-Jul-2012

    The 2nd Laupheimer Zelltage conference organized by Rentschler Biotechnologie GmbH in Laupheim on 11th and 12th June 2012 focused on “Bioprocess light”. Twelve experts from applied research institutions and biotech companies from Germany and abroad provided the 200 or so guests with information on how modern bioproduction methods can be made simpler, more robust, cheaper, more reliable and hence more competitive.

Website address: https://www.biooekonomie-bw.de/en/articles/materials/?block_106114size=8&block_106114from=40