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Max-Eyth-Allee 100

14469 Potsdam


Tel. +49 (0)331 5699-0


Coordinating institute

Microbial system ecology

A biogas reactor represents a complex micro cosmos, consisting of thousands of different micro organisms with multifaceted but mostly uncharted metabolism activities. This represents a considerably potential for new biotechnology procedures, the main focus for the microbial system ecology.

Related to the production of biogas the microbial system ecology investigates the synergistic interaction of several microbial guilds during the anaerobe fermentation. It target to configure the fermentation process as efficient as possible. In regard to the biogas yield, the capacities of synergetic collaborating microbial communities depend on a series of factors. Significant influences on the microbial metabolism activities and the process efficiency factor have ferment construction, operating temperature, the kind and amount of used substrates. The composition and dynamic characterisations of microbial communities on varied fermentation conditions are a basic assumption for an optimal biogas production, at least with regard to the detection still not used organic feedstocks and the development of novel reactor systems.

Further investigations target on the development to enrich special microbes for the metabolism of usually persistent substances (i. e. lignified substances), toxic substances as well as cultures with abilities to tolerant or neutralise toxic compositions. The high amount of not investigated micro organisms in biogas ferment plants and natural environment open an enormous potential for new bio technologic approaches.

Biofilm formation in biogas reactors: microbial community (red) and organic structure (green). (Foto: Bergmann/ATB)
Biofilm formation in biogas reactors: microbial community (red) and organic structure (green). (Foto: Bergmann/ATB)

Contact: Dr. Michael Klocke 

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Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. · Max-Eyth-Allee 100 · 14469 Potsdam · Germany · Tel. +49 (0)331 5699 0 · E-mail