Rittmann Group

University of Vienna

Renewable Energy and Bioproducts for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Who we are

The Archaea Physiology & Biotechnology Group studies microorganisms in pure culture and in artificial ecosystems for understanding their eco-physiology with the aim to develop bioprocesses for renewable energy generation and for the sustainable production of chemicals. The emphasis lies on examining anaerobic microbial physiology of gas-to-gas, gas-to-liquid, and gas-to-solid conversions in an ecological and biotechnological context. Therefore, the knowledge of archaeal and bacterial physiology, genetics, molecular biology, and ecology is essential to us to develop the next generation bioprocesses for the utilization and/or production of CH4, H2, CO2, CO, N2, and other gasses. Eventually, we want to assist enabling a transition of the energy and fine chemical production sectors in a biorefinery setting towards full renewability.

Why/How are we going Green

All life on Earth is threatened by climate change by exploitation of fossil fuels for energy and chemicals production. Moreover, the world is facing a massive biodiversity loss through destruction of pristine ecosystems. Chemical manufacturing polluted almost every environment on our planet with plastics, and industrial agriculture has proven to be a dead end for food production which has not been able to feed humankind in a sustainable and ecological way. Therefore, we study the microbial production of CH4 and H2, N2-fixation, CO utilization and CO2 conversion. Our aims are to develop microbial processes for the production of gaseous, liquid, and solid bioproducts using pure cultures and artificial ecosystem design and engineering, to subsequently establish a new generation of microbial bioprocesses to serve and save Earth and its inhabitants.

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