About us

Process center for the use of renewable raw materials

In view of the finite nature of fossil resources, the growing demand for resources and climate change, the use of renewable raw materials has already acquired great significance. Plants, straw, wood or microalgae can in the long term replace oil as a raw material for the chemical industry. Industrial biotechnology, and combining this technology with chemical processing methods, are here seen as key technologies on the way towards a sustainable chemistry. Scalable new methods, especially with a view to cost efficiency, are required that have to be closely interlinked with existing production structures.


Making infrastructure and plants available

However, especially small and medium-sized enterprises are hardly able on their own to manage the transfer of these new technologies from the laboratory or pilot plant to industrially relevant orders of magnitude. The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP in Leuna closes the gap between the pilot plant and industrial implementation. By making infrastructure and plants/ miniplants available, the Fraunhofer CBP makes it possible for cooperation partners from research and industry to develop and scale processes for utilizing renewable raw materials up to an industrial scale.


Development of sustainable processes along the entire value creation chain

The Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP focuses on the development of sustainable processes along the entire value creation chain for the manufacture of products on the basis of renewable resources. The aim, working on the principle of a biorefinery, is the integrated and cascading material-energetic utilization of, as far as possible, all the substances derived from plant biomass.

Joint projects involve partners from industry, academia and non-university research establishments, and currently focus on the following specializations:

  • Obtaining high quality extractives from biogenic raw and residual materials
  • Pulping of lignocellulose, separation and use of its components to make further products
  • Development of processes to obtain new technical enzymes
  • Manufacturing of biobased alcohols, acids and olefins using fermentation and chemical processes
  • Funktionalization of vegetable oils, e.g. biotechnological epocidation and ω-functionalization  

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CBP – Leuna branch of Fraunhofer IGB


Location Leuna




Rectifying some common misconceptions about chemistry

Chemistry shouldn’t be seen as a source of problems but as a means of solving problems, Gerd Unkelbach says.



The construction of the Fraunhofer CBP was made possible by start-up financing provided by the Land of Sachsen-Anhalt, project funding via the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as well as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.