In the 21st century the chemical industry will play a major role in the development of new materials, substances and processes.
In the future an increase in efficiency and flexibility of the existing production routes is necessary to reduce material and energy consumption. The integration of biotechnological and chemical reaction steps allows novel processes with improved performances and will address the challenges of climate change and clean energy.
By combining different disciplines such as bio-, electro- and chemo-catalysis, molecular biology and process engineering in the cluster integrated chemical and biotechnological production at DECHEMA-Forschungsinstitut novel production routes for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and chemical industry, agro-chemicals as well as the food area will be developed. The chemo-, regio-and enantioselectivity of enzymatic reactions allow for synthesis routes to be realised that are currently difficult to achieve by chemical processes. The combination of chemo and biocatalysis is a key technology for the efficient use of renewable resources and the development of environmentally friendly and resources-efficient production processes. For this purpose, molecular biology is used to develop enzymes and microorganisms with tailored properties.
The combination of electrochemistry and enzyme reactions to electroenzymatic processes offers a variety of possibilities for advanced production systems. As a novel and highly energy efficient process microbial electrosynthesis will be investigated. In microbial electrosynthesis electrons are transferred between electrodes and microorganisms. The electrical energy can be used directly in the metabolism of microorganisms to produce valuable compounds.