Visit of Fraunhofer IGB

After the eventful days in Eindhoven at the Dutch Design Week, we visited the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB on Thursday, 26.10.2023. Our excursion there began with a talk by Christian Schmidle, PhD student in Bioprocess Engineering, about his work on the insect biorefinery (InBiRa for short). The principle converts waste and residual streams into new, high-quality products. For this purpose, organic residues from the food sector, for example overstocked food or leftovers from canteens, are processed in such a way that the insect larvae can utilise them efficiently and grow quickly. The larvae are then processed further. By means of chemical and biological conversion, the end products fat, protein & chitin are extracted. Again, we came across the larvae of the black soldier fly.
In his laboratory, we were then allowed to take a closer look at individual samples.
This was followed by a lecture by Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hahn, deputy head of the “Bioprocess Development” working group, on his research into chitin and chitosan. It was particularly exciting for us to learn so many new things about the chemical composition of the two substances, as well as their current areas of application in various industries, such as sizing agents in the textile industry. In the meantime, we were able to incorporate our own findings from the chitosan workshop and ask questions about other possible areas of application.
In addition, Tobias Ebbing, also a doctoral student in bioprocess engineering, gave us a little input on his field of research: the use of microalgae in photobioreactors. Here, too, we were able to gain a little insight into the laboratories with the active airlift reactors.

thanks to:

Fraunhofer IGB
Christian Schmidle
Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hahn
Tobias Ebbing
part of:

The Insect Project
– Resilience Part I
text by:Yara Planer