Biological Processes in the Circular Economy - BVK

Chair of Waste Management and Emissions

Fermentation, biogas, fermentation residues, composting, development of new processes and optimisation of plants, flexibilisation


The high-quality use (material and energetic) of biowaste is an important building block for ensuring a high proportion of renewable energies in the energy supply in Germany and for achieving the energy policy goals of the federal and state governments.

The research area deals with processes for the biological treatment and processing of organic waste as well as approaches for the flexible generation and use of energy from renewable raw materials.

Core competences of the working area:

The technical evaluation of processes in large-scale fermentation plants
Identification of optimal utilisation paths in the recycling of products resulting from the fermentation and composting process (biogas, fermentation residues, compost)
Investigation of physical and chemical properties of organic residues and wastes in general and fermentation residues and composts in particular.
Balancing of impurities and pollutants in technical systems
Utilization and balancing of organic residual and waste streams for the provision of raw materials for
the bioeconomy
The methodological approaches for the technical-economic evaluation are based on measurements at the plant, experimental test series and model-based calculations.

SepaFlex - Co-fermentation of separated biowaste press water in sewage treatment plants for flexible energy generation

Further information:

Claudia Maurer, Universität Stuttgart

Completed research projects

Finished research projects

The aim of the project is to develop a well-founded database with key data on established concepts for biowaste fermentation plants. This should support project developments and planning decisions in the expansion of fermentation capacities and point out optimisation potentials.

The recycling of biogenic waste in fermentation plants has been increasing for some years now. This development makes it necessary to investigate the best possible use of the existing material and to determine the optimisation potential both for existing plants and for the planning of new plants. So far there is a lack of reliable data over a longer period of time regarding the suitability of the concepts for the respective substrates as well as the actual performance of the plants.

In the project "Optimisation potentials for biowaste fermentation plants in Baden-Württemberg", a comprehensive, objective, reliable data basis on the implementation of an extensive measurement, sampling and data acquisition programme is therefore being prepared. An extensive database with information on various concepts for process operation, energy and material flow balances as well as analyses of substrates and product qualities will support stakeholders in project developments and planning decisions for the construction and expansion of fermentation capacities. In addition, optimization potentials such as higher energy yield, targeted substrate use, increased energy and resource efficiency are to be identified.

This research work is supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg (Az.:33-7533-10/5/99/1) as part of the BBW ForWerts Graduate Programme.

Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg

Project Manager:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kranert

Project processing:
M.Sc. Claudia Maurer
Dipl.-Ing. Anna Fritzsche

09/2014 - 08/2018


The long-term and overarching objective of the project is to turn the Danube region into a "zero waste model region".
with sustainable energy and wastewater management of closed nutrient cycles. These sustainable economy is characterised by the highest possible resource efficiency and environmental protection economic processes. The decentralised approach focuses on the recovery of energy and recyclable materials integrated into economic processes as well as the use of municipal and agricultural residues and waste materials (including sewage sludge). With this supra-regional approach and using technologically innovative processes, an exemplary model region is to be created in which new jobs are created in rural areas and leisure, business and science tourism is strengthened in equal measure.

The project is divided into two phases and has two subordinate objectives:

Formation of a network of different partners (science, politics, economy) of the Danube region and Germany, who are active in the field of sustainable bioenergy production as well as in related areas.

Building on the network, forming a consortium to apply for funding in relation to EU calls for tenders

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Contact person:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kranert
Claudia Maurer, M.Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Jovana Husemann, M. Sc., M. Eng.

Project partners:
University of Hohenheim, State Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy 
University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna, University of Belgrade

05/2017 - 02/2018


In large parts of China, groundwater and surface waters are polluted by light industry (including sugar, fruit processing, paper, pharmaceutical, starch and food processing). The production of renewable energy from wastewater and biowaste from light industry represents an important step in the circular-flow economy. However, local companies have little experience and knowledge of the use of this technology. Germany is one of the leading countries in the use of renewable energy from renewable raw materials.

The aim of the definition project is,

To establish a network between industry, research institutes and government institutions in Germany and China in order to improve knowledge transfer.
To identify the potential and opportunities of biogas technology, especially in the field of light industry in China.
To create market analyses, user interviews and an investigation of the local political framework conditions.
to develop new market potentials for German companies.
to jointly define the project idea for the fermentation of biowaste from light industry in China, to develop a project outline for the upcoming CLIENT II project calls.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Contact person:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Kranert
Claudia Maurer, M.Sc.
Dipl.-Ing. Jingjing Huang

Project partner:
University Guangxi, Guangxi Bossco Environmental Protection Technology Co.,Ltd

05/2017 - 11/2017



This image shows Claudia Maurer

Claudia Maurer

Dr. sc. agr.

Leader of "Biological Processes in the Circular Economy" (BVK)

To the top of the page