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DGMK-Veranstaltung / Geo-Energiesysteme und Untertage­technologien

DGMK/GS SPE WebSeminar: How microbial biotechnology can contribute to circular economies – Highlights from two case studies

16.00 - 17.00
Zoom (online)


Biotechnology bears enormous potential as a key technology for contributing to solving current and future challenges, such as fighting climate change, securing food supply for the growing world population, and developing new medicines and therapeutics. Particularly when implemented in industry, microbial biotechnology is promising for establishing circular economies, most prominently but not limited to carbon. In this regard, de-fossilization by introducing sustainable bioprocesses into the chemical industry is crucial.

In this seminar, two case studies are explored, which highlight approaches for biological process development in an academic setting. In the first case, a process for the production and purification of biosurfactants is developed, which is independent of fossil carbon sources. In the second case, the focus is set on phosphate, which is a fossil resource as well. Baker’s yeast is used to recycle spent phosphate while simultaneously producing high-value polyphosphate with novel applications, currently inaccessible to chemical synthesis.

By introducing concepts of biotechnological process development and their potential for contributing to circular economies, a subsequent open discussion will be initiated.

About the Lecturer

During both his Bachelor and Master studies, Philipp Demling majored in Molecular and Applied Biotechnology with a focus on process engineering and industrial biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University. In 2016, he graduated with a Master of Science after completing his thesis at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Berkeley, CA, USA working on strain engineering and growth optimization for improved biofuel production.

After working as a graduate research assistant at Research Center Jülich and Bayer AG, Philipp Demling started his doctorate at the Institute of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen University, in 2017. Within his project, he developed fermentation strategies with integrated in situ product removal for the sustainable production of biosurfactants. After earning his doctoral degree, he became a postdoctoral researcher at RWTH Aachen University and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark. As part of interdisciplinary projects, he currently works on the production of bio-polyphosphate in baker’s yeast.

The WebSeminar is supported by:


Dr. Susanne Kuchling

Leiterin der Abteilung Geo-Energiesysteme und Untertagetechnologien

Ines Musekamp

Koordination des Fachbereiches Geo-Energiesysteme und Untertagetechnologien