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Microbial Degradation of Lignocellulose for the Production of Chemical Building Blocks


Dr. Jens Baumgardt

Project Director

Jens Baumgardt


Ongoing Theses:

  • Helmut Draxler
  • Caroline Bergmüller

Completed Theses:

  • Nathalie Hassanein
  • Diana Boristowski
  • Sebastian Bloch
  • Jasmin Jende
  • Sarah Bleile
  • Miriam Müller
  • Marcel Krüger
  • Anna Renk
  • Sebastian Broll
  • Charleen Ribnitz
  • Simon Leupold
  • Verena Meinhardt
  • Verena Vester
  • Julia Weißig
  • Maria Stehr
  • Kübra Asci
  • Mareike Saathoff
  • Benjamin Herzog
  • Sebastian Weickert
  • Christin Witt
  • Anton Birich
  • Angela Lahrz
  • Tatjana Fritscher
  • Paul Komm
  • Floriane Zinsou

About us:

To get to a CO2-neutral way of life and economy, we need to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Lignocellulose, contained in lignified biomass, can be converted to aromatic building blocks for the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paints, fuels and plastics. Without impacting the climate.

Beech wood sawdust, waste product of the wood processing industry

Lignocellulose is the world's largest renewable carbon source and is present in domestic hardwood, coniferous trees and grain waste (straw, maize) but also as a waste product from the paper industry on a large scale.

Black liquor/ purified lignin, waste product of the paper processing industry

Since lignocellulose has a biocidal effect, it is a great challenge to break down the biopolymer microbially in order to harvest the valuable synthetic building blocks.

For environmental and cost reasons, we avoid thermochemical or enzymatic pretreatment of the substrate. The aim is a one-step fermentation process.

Microorganisms with a high lignin degradation potential are characterized and the metabolites produced in the fermentation process are analyzed via HPLC / GC. The focus here is on substance classes that can be produced by biocatalysis and used industrially as basic chemical building blocks (e.g. aromatic synthetic building blocks).

Bacterial isolate from the digestive tract of termites

Microorganism isolates with promising metabolic potential are optimized with regard to tolerance to lignocellulose and the metabolites that arise in the degradation process.

Bacterial isolate from bovine rumen

The generated microorganism isolates and manufacturing processes are adapted to industrial applications in cooperation with our partners from the chemical and wood processing industries in order to replace petrochemical manufacturing methods in whole or in part.

Nachwuchsgruppe Lignocellulose

Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Biologie
Königin-Luise-Str. 12-16
14195 Berlin

Dr. J. Baumgardt (Raum 108)
Tel.: +49 30 838 53110
Email: baumgard[at]zedat.fu-berlin.de