Environmental Biotechnology Group


Environmental Biotechnology Group

Prof. Dr. Ir. Largus (Lars) T. Angenent

Dr. Bastian Molitor

Dr. Joseph G. Usack

Schnarrenbergstraße 94-96,

5 th floor, 72076 Tübingen

Artur Zimmermann
Phone.: +49-(0)7071-29-75069

The Environmental Biotechnology Group is located in the Geo and Environmental Research Center (GUZ) at the University of Tuebingen.

We investigate the use of natural microbes in engineered systems to make conversions such as the treatment of wasted organic materials and industrial off-gases into useful products.

The Group consists of the Angenent Lab, Molitor Lab, and Usack Lab. We combine bioprocess/environmental engineering with microbiology including metagenomics/proteomics, and systems biology/metabolic engineering.

Lars Angenent was filmed and interviewed for a tv program on renewable technologies (Plan B) on ZDF

Angenent Lab

We want to make our societies more sustainable by developing innovative biotechnology-production platforms in the lab that can be translated into the real world. With this development and translation of technology, we aspire to make an impact on reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere or by combining carbon capture and utilization into useful products. In our research group and spin-off start-up companies, microbes that originated from our environment are put to work in bioreactors to make biological conversions. Through gas fermentation, it is even possible to use CO2 and/or carbon monoxide (CO) as a carbon course by feeding in gases as the only substrate.


Environmental Biotechnology is closely aligned with finding technological solutions to our biggest societal problems that have to do with the rapid deterioration of our environment. However, we do not lose sight of non-technological issues such as policy making, social issues, sustainable assessments, and economic viability.


Molitor Lab

The Molitor Lab is at the cross-discipline intersection of microbiology and biotechnology. Our mission is to use microbiological, genetic engineering, and systems biology tools to put microbes to work in biotechnological applications, and to unravel interactions within microbial communities on a molecular level.

We combine various techniques in our laboratories to address these research questions, which is only possible because we are a diverse group of people with a background in microbiology, biochemistry, systems biology, and biological engineering. Furthermore, we strongly believe in research as a collaborative effort and that we can unfold our full potential through collaborations in Tübingen, Germany, and abroad.


Usack Lab

The research interests of the Usack Group cover a broad range of topics at multiple scales, from: 1) engineering individual bioprocesses in the lab; 2) overseeing process implementations in the field; to 3) analyzing multi-process system networks in silico.

Our research is centered at the food, water, and energy nexus with a focus on agricultural waste-to-energy technologies that exploit biological processes. We target all stages of technical development including engineering design, implementation, analysis, optimization, and commercialization.

In this way, our research is not restricted to a single stage, scale, or scheme, but instead integrates vertically and intersects horizontally, while also relying on inter-disciplinary collaborations. What we find fascinating about microbes is their ability to manifest large-scale changes despite being microscopic in size.