Mission Statement

Aims and targets of the Subject Division

Subject Division Plant-based Extracts - Products and Processes

Chair: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Strube, Clausthal
Vice Chair: Dr. Hansjörg Hagels, Ingelheim


I. Aims and Targets

The Subject Division Plant-based Extracts aim their work onto two targets:

  • A stronger integration of plant-based extracts in the use of renewable resources via usage or extended usage of side streams and intermediates in process chains.
  • Establishment of plant extraction as independent approach to produce value products and active ingredients for new areas of application and for substitution of synthetic producs.

II. Interfaces to other Divisions

Plant-based Extracts has interfaces to subject divisions in the field of renewable resources (material) and separation technologies (technological). The renewable resources focus is the extension of the utilisation spectrum and the creation of value thereby. Different unit operations in separation technology offer interfaces for integrated development and optimisation of process technologies founding on product requirements in the use of plant extracts.

III. Focus of Work

Three fields of application have to be distinguished:

  • Bulk chemicals
  • Specialties (cosmetics, functional food, intermediates)
  • Substances for special applications (development of active ingredients)

We mainly focus on special applications, e.g. the area of new plant-based ingredients that may be used in primary stages of pharmaceutical production. In this area we have three focal working areas:

  • Integrated development of biotechnological processes (process synthesis for chemistry based biotechnology).
    A first target is e.g. the application of biotechnological processes (e.g. enzymatic processes) or environmentally benign solvents (green solvents) instead of unselective (chlorine-)organic solvents for optimal refits of existing or new process chains.
  • Simultaneous contemplation of strain development and downstream processing
    The connection of resource properties (plant-based), process optimisation and product properties in an integrated approach generates specific requirements for process technology.
  • Value products and production of active ingredients e.g. for substitution of substances
    The focus lies on developments for highly selective extraction processes for the production of new active ingredients and for substitutes for synthetic active ingredients. This approach includes the evaluation of the potential for active ingredients of existing resources and their extension.

IV. R&D Focus

Integrated process development is considered the biggest challenge for future progress in production of plant-based extracts.  Special attention is given to distinct definitions of interfaces between different unit operations.

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