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Welcome to the biotechnology part of the institute!

Biotechnology @ CTO

Biotechnology Laboratory

   Building on our long-lasting experience and knowledge in the field of high-pressure chemistry we expanded our research activities into biotechnology at elevated pressures. We operate two reactor systems, a fed batch Büchi reactor and a high throughput system (simultaneous bioreactor system – SBRS), specially designed to work with microorganisms. Using this equipment, we were able to test the methanogens under Enceladus-like (Saturn moon) conditions and proof that these strains can survive in this harsh condition. Our findings were published in an article in Nature Communications as “Biological methane production under putative Enceladus-like conditions”.

  • Microorganisms: Archaea (anaerobic)
  • Methanisation
  • Closed-batch or fed-batch mode
  • Pressures up to 90 bar und temperatures up to 250°C


  • Optical density (UV)
  • Methane concentration (GC-WLD)
  • Biomass determination (centrifuge)


2 L Büchi Reactor

  • For fed-batch reactions of biological systems
  • Pressure: up to 100 bar
  • Temperature: up to 250°C
  • Volume: 2 l
  • Heating/Cooling jacket

Equipped with:

  • HPLC-pump
  • Stirrer
  • pH-electrode
  • Massflow controller / Cori-Flow
  • Sparger system
  • Injection Unit



Simultaneous Bioreactor System (SBRS)

  • For closed batch experiments
  • 4 identical reactors
  • Pressure: up to 50 bar
  • Temperature: up to 150°C
  • Volume: 4 x 160 mL
  • Mounted on a lab shaker (no stirrer!)
  • Online pressure and temperature monitoring


  • Heraeus Instruments
  • Megafuge 1.0 R
  • Maximum speed: 3.500 rpm

Gas composition

  • Thermo Electron Cooperation, GC-WLD
  • Trace GC Ultra
  • Methane concentration
  • Only for gas analytic!
  • Column: CarboxenTM-1000, Carbosieve - packed
  • Carrier gas: He
  • Maximum temperature: 225°C


  • Systec, Model: DX-45
  • Programs for: fluids, waste or solid
  • Temperatures up to 134°C for sterilization

20 L Home-Brew kettle

  • Brewmaster
  • Volume: up to 20 L
  • Grain mill (with variable clearance)
  • Integrated filtration unit
  • Anylytics: sugar content, alcohol content (ABV), hops (GC-/HPLC-MS)