Material and energetic use of biomass

Foto: ATB

Biobased materials and energy for the bioeconomy

The aim of this research programme is to develop both efficient technology and processes for the provision of biogenic materials and energy sources from agriculture for a sustainable, bio-based economy.

Fibre plants and short-rotation coppices (SRC) can be mechanically processed into innovative products and energy sources. Plants containing sugar and starch as well as their residues provide lactic acid, biochar and biogas by means of thermal and biotechnological material conversion processes. It is important to better understand and control the specific metabolic performance of the microorganisms involved.

Together with industrial partners we are developing biorefinery and cascade concepts, based on the comprehensive use, in order to add value of biogenic raw materials and residues.

Material use of biomass

Natural resources from agriculture and forestry as well as residual and waste materials from other utilization paths have been used for the production of materials and consumer goods for a long time before the industrial revolution. Fossil raw materials then largely displaced these, but their scarcity, increase in price and the impairment of natural living conditions associated with their use require an intensive and targeted search for alternatives. If fossil carbon sources are no longer available in the future, the corresponding basic materials must be obtained from biomass.

In addition, the requirements of today's industrial processing and the expectations of consumers require a high degree of effectiveness, raw material and product quality as well as cost efficiency. This places high demands on the development of agricultural supply processes and the subsequent technologies and processes for the preparation and initial processing of plant biomass.

Within the framework of interdisciplinary projects, we work intensively on appropriate solutions. In our research we closely cooperate with small and medium-sized enterprises in particular with the aim of creating alternative employment and income in rural areas and creating added value in branches relatetd to agriculture. 

The biotechnological material conversion as well as the carbonization of renewable raw materials and technologies for the processing of natural fibres are important fields of activity of the ATB.



In addition to tapping previously unused residual and waste materials from agriculture, the food industry and private households, annual and perennial plants play a very important role as renewable raw materials in the production of bioenergy in Germany. Although alternative energy generation options such as photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind power have a higher efficiency per unit area, the use of biomass is superior due to its cascading utilization possibilities.

For this reason, we have been successfully developing concepts that affect the entire process chain for many years. This begins with the cultivation of annual and perennial energy crops and extends to their harvesting, storage and conversion into biogas, biochar and other solid fuels, as well as the comprehensive evaluation of these processes.  The main areas of research within the scope of this process evaluation are emissions from short rotation plantations, the calculation of greenhouse gas abatement costs and the networking of value chains.


To the team of the research program 'Material and energetic use of biomass'

News related to the program

Autumn leaves in the city - up to now hardly used for energy (Photo: Foltan/ATB)

Using Berlin as a case study, scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) have compared the composting of…

Pasta in different shapes

Waste prevention and recycling are of particular interest to the food industry. In pasta production, some wastes occur, for example, when cleaning the…

Grafik zeigt: Alle mehrzelligen Organismen sind über vielfältige Mikrobengemeinschaften - das Mikrobiom - miteinander verbunden (Quelle: Abdelfattah/ATB)

Am 11. und 12. Oktober 2022 fand auf Einladung von BMEL und ATB in Potsdam das Symposium  „Mikrobiomforschung: der Schlüssel für eine zukunftsfähige…

ATB-Agrarexpertin Prof. Dr. Annette Prochnow (Foto: Falk Weiß)

Vor wenigen Tagen hat das Bundesministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz (BMUV) sein Eckpunktepapier für die Nationale Biomassestrategie…


Bioökonomie zum Experimentieren, Anfassen und Anklicken: Im Rahmen des Pilotprojekts BioKiK hat das ATB gemeinsam mit dem IGZ Unterrichtsmaterial und…

Dr. Carsten Lühr erläutert Nutzungsoptionen für Moorbiomasse (Foto: Pecenka/ATB)

Brandenburgs Minister für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und Klimaschutz Axel Vogel besuchte heute das Rhinluch bei Kremmen, um sich über eine klimaangepasste…

Screenshot zur Serie (rbb)

Unbedingt anschauen: Serie des rbb zur Zukunft der Brandenburger Moore. In Teil 3 zeigt ATB-Wissenschaftler Dr. Ralf Pecenka, was man in Zukunft alles…


The INSECTA 2021 International Conference will take place on 8 and 9 September 2021 in Magdeburg Germany as hybrid event. It aims to give an overview…


The EU-funded PERCAL project has made significant steps in the valorisation of municipal solid waste (MSW). The technologies developed in the project…


Online: Video contribution by the EU funded project GO-GRASS to the Global Bioeconomy Summit 2020, held in an interactive digital format November…

Buchcover mit Titel und Bild von einem Sclass

In der aktuellen Publikation „Naturwissenschaftliche Forschung und Historische Gärten“ weisen ATB-Forscher auf bisher ungenutzte Potentiale von…

Hanffasern (Foto: Grimm/ATB)

Der Einsatz von Naturdämmstoffen beim Bauen ist sicher, kalkulierbar und nachhaltig. Dies belegen die Ergebnisse eines interdisziplinären…


No news available.


Alle Projekte aus dem Forschungsprogramm Stoffliche und energetische Nutzung von Biomasse

Publikationen aus dem Programm

Alle Publikationen aus dem Forschungsprogramm Stoffliche und energetische Nutzung von Biomasse