The Chair of Technical Biology at KIT Campus South was founded in 2003 and has been an independent institute for Process Engeneering in Life Science 2 - Technical Biology (BLT 2 - TeBi) since 2006. In the interdisciplinary cooperation of the three major fields of biology, chemistry and process engineering, Technical Biology at KIT deals with the use of bacteria, yeasts, fungi and enzymes isolated from them for the production of various compounds. Within the scope of the research area Bioeconomics and the necessary shift from fossil to renewable raw materials from fossil to renewable raw materials, which are not in competition with foof and feed, the aim is the development of sustainable biotechnological processes.
Current research topics include (i) investigations on the microbial production of hydrogen as an energy source and (ii) the microbial use of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide (synthesis gas) for the production of alcohol and acetic acid as chemical building blocks. Research is also being conducted on (iii) the microbial production of organic acids as bioplastic building blocks and (iv) high-quality single-cell oils and derived products for dietary supplements. In the field of enzymatic conversion, topics include (v) the synthesis of biosurfactants for use in detergents and cosmetics, and (vi) the production of non-proteinogenic α- and β-amino acids as valuable precursors for pharmaceuticals.
The focus in teaching is on the education of students in the bachelor's degree in bioengineering (BIW) in the biological and biotechnical basic subjects as well as in the teacher training in science and technology (NWT). In the master programs of the KIT Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Process Engineering as well as for students in biological and chemical study programs, various compulsory and elective courses on biotechnology topics are offered.
In addition to the integration into national and international projects and projects, cooperations exist, e.g. with China, France and South Africa, close cooperation with other institutes at KIT, with groups within the Helmholtz Association at Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Environmental Research Center (UFZ) in Leipzig, as well as with institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.