BioCon, Biological Conversions group

In the research group Biological Conversions group, BioCon, it is our goal to develop and validate new technologies based on the use of microorganisms as a tool to convert organic waste and wastewater to useful biproducts, biofuel and bioenergy.


About us

In the BioCon group we use an approach that extends from basic science, where we uncover mechanisms of action of microbial processes, to application-oriented research to the development of new technologies within biotechnology in both laboratory and pilot scale.

We combine both microbiology and engineering knowledge to develop new technologies to give value to organic material in the form of high-value products, chemicals, and bioenergy, and at the same time utilize the nutrients from waste and wastewater.

Our research

Our research covers both traditional microbiology and molecular microbiology, e.g., omics technology, fermentation technologies and modeling. We focus on the processes and production concepts we develop being environmentally and techno-economically sustainable.

Our research areas can be divided into the following main categories:


Here we, among other things, focus on new reactor configurations, process optimization, modeling, and microbiology. We combine microbial ecology and process understanding to develop new concepts. Focus areas are new microbial concepts to overcome specific process challenges in the biogas process such as ammonium inhibition, foaming problems, monitoring and control of the biogas process. In addition, CO2 methanization, syngas fermentation to biomethane or to organic acids and alcohols are in focus.


We develop processes and technologies to convert biomass, such as household waste, seaweed, grass, industrial organic waste into biochemicals. Examples of this are bio-succinic acid (a platform chemical with hundreds of different uses), and for lactate and PHAs which are used for the production of various types of plastic and biodegradable plastic.


We work with new concepts to valorize organic material and at the same time extract nutrients from wastewater/waste to form microbial biomass that can be used as protein-containing human food or animal feed. We have developed technologies together with companies and public authorities to produce single cell biomass (single cell protein) in the form of methylotrophic bacteria. At the same time, we extract ammonia, which we use as nitrogen input in the fermentation process.


In connection with the green transition, biofuels must, as far as possible, replace the conventional fossil-based fuels. The BIOCON group works with several concepts for biological production of fuels. Including methods based on electrogenesis, where CO2 is reduced using wind turbine power to produce alcohols that can be used as biofuels. In addition, the group works with syngas fermentation for the production of acids and alcohols.


Here, we work with new concepts and develop technologies where we use algae as means of action. We use algae to both clean wastewaters, but also to produce useful products, such as astaxanthin, a very valuable and useful antioxidant.

Microbial electrochemistry

We work with bioelectrochemical systems for various applications such as recovery of nutrients from wastewater, treatment of wastewater, and for electrosynthesis for the production of acids and alcohols.


We value collaborating with industries, companies and other research institutions to develop new ideas and processes that can contribute to the green transition. Contact: Group leader, Professor Irini Angelidaki.


Irini Angelidaki

Irini Angelidaki Professor Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering