Removal of environmental pollutants by biological processes

Removal of environmental pollutants by biological processesa research area in focus at the Department of Environmental Science (a "Strategic Growth Area", SGA)

Removal of environmental pollutants by metabolic processes deals with the biochemical challenges of degradation of environmental pollutants. Chemical properties, biochemical reactions of pollutants as well as microbial genetics and ecology influencing the degradation are the main focuses. Processes in the environmental compartments soil, ground-/drinking water as well as waste water are of specific interest. Biotechnological solutions, e.g. water treatment or soil bioremediation, are investigated with the aim to ensure quality and safety of fundamental environmental goods and services – hereunder clean water and fertile soil.

Main research areas

  • Degradation of xenobiotics by bacteria and fungi (single organisms, consortia or natural communities).
  • Water, leachate, sludge and soil treatment.
  • Microbial degradation in soil, water and in the atmosphere. Including identification of degradation products and the further degradation of these
  • Formation of metabolites vs mineralisation
  • Biotechnological solutions including optimization of degradation and degrader organisms e.g. by studying microbial interactions and degrader genes.
  • Ecology of degraders incl. co-metabolism vs catabolism.

Examples of recent and ongoing projects


Removal of Environmental Pollutants by Biological Processes - publications within the research area.