The Research Group Environmental Process Engineering (headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Sven Kerzenmacher) performs interdisciplinary research on fundamentals, material, and processes for environmental engineering and sustainable biotechnology.
Its research is centered on new processes for energy-efficient wastewater treatment, bio-production, and resource recovery. This includes the use of biocatalysts such as enzymes or microorganisms for production and remediation processes, for instance the electrochemical hydrogen generation or the removal of anthropogenic micro-pollutants from wastewaters.
The realization of new processes often requires tailor-made functional materials. In this context, the department’s material science activities are focused on the research and development of hierarchically organized nanofibers, fabricated using the electro-spinning method. These materials serve as (bio-) electrochemical electrodes, as support material for biofilm or enzymatic and abiotic catalysts. Furthermore, electrically conductive filtration membranes are being developed for the integration of electrochemical processes into membrane bioreactors.
With respect to fundamentals, the department’s research includes methods of applied (bio-) electrochemistry and the multi-scale investigation of mass transfer processes. The later primarily comprises experimental analysis and modelling of local effects in multi-phase flows with and without biological or chemical reactions.