The Working Group "Chemistry and Technology of Renewable Resources" of the Institute of Chemistry has expertise in the use of renewable resources for alternative energy, especially in the field of biofuels, and also in chemical characterization and modification of renewable feedstocks. One major aspect is the production or isolation of value added products out of biomass. One part of the NAWI Graz Central Lab "Biobased Products" is located at the institute, including a safety lab for hydrogenation and high pressure reactions.
One major focus was the development of process technology for the preparation of biodiesel from various food and non-food feedstocks, leading to the implementation of the first biodiesel production and utilization projects worldwide. Special focus was put on the use of alternative feedstocks based on side and waste products, but also on developing new process technologies like biocatalytic approaches or the development of new heterogeneous catalysts. But also strategies in the frame of "biorefineries" like production of micro algae producing value added products, as well as further development of next generation biofuels made out of any kind of renewable resources are followed.
Besides this development of new conversion technologies like reactions under high pressure, also development of analytical methods for the characterization and analysis of main or minor components in feedstocks or final products are carried out, usinf series of chromatographic instruments like GC/MS, GPC, and HPLC/MS-TOF.
Within large numbers of international institutions we have been carrying out national and international research projects, but also our expertise in routine analysis and in solving analysis problems in the field of renewables is appreciated by external scientific and industrial partners.