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Grit Life

My main research project is called 'Grit Life' funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and aims to uncover a novel and unique soil bound microbiological biocenosis called Grit Crust in the Atacama Desert of Chile, South America.

The project started in September 2021 and will last for three years. It is funded with 400.000 € by DFG.

Glätten Beton

Cyanobacteria as
Master Builders

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Research is being conducted into the potential of the calcifying properties of algae for various industrial applications, for example for the development of reproducing concrete or the development of calcium-containing minerals as alternative coatings for solar cells.

 

Goals
In view of climate change and the industrial revolution towards greater sustainability, the biotechnological use of algae offers a promising alternative to bacteria. Cyanobacteria - a special group of algae - are characterised by their photosynthetic and CO2-binding properties.

In the research project "Cyanobacteria as master builders", previously unknown species of algae are used, which form solid, crystalline shell structures of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in their natural habitat. Biological cementation is reinforced by bonding with the algae's mucilage, which in combination offers great potential for the production of new materials using biotechnological processes.

The interdisciplinary team of phycologists (algae researchers), civil engineers (Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences and Arts), natural product analysts (DLR; Weincampus Neustadt) and soil scientists (Institute of Soil Science, Leibniz Universität Hannover) has therefore set itself the goal of utilising the lime-embedding properties of these algae to produce hybrid materials such as living concrete.

 

The project was funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation with €750,000 over two years.

Website: Carl-Zeiss WildCard

industrielle Kunst

Waste 2 Value

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany funded our project called Waste 2 Value with up to 16 mio € over six years starting in 2022. We aim to transfer the latest science to local industrial partners in order to create new jobs in biotechnology for Western Rhineland-Palatinate. It is our ambitious goal to upcycle industrial waste materials into chemical compounds of high value mediated by microorganisms such as cyanobacteria.

Website: Waste 2 Value: Mikroorganismen verändern die Westpfalz

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