Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
SEED FUND 2.0 project iBiomass

Improve maize biomass for processing applying OrganoCat technology


Lignocellulose is an important raw material for sustainable processes in a commercially competitive bio-economy. Since this material is recalcitrant to breakdown into its sugars for valorisation, the OrganoCat technology was developed and tested on numerous plant species. The raw material was derived from healthy plants, and it is important to understand how regularly occurring field infections alter this process.
Therefore, the aim of iBiomass is to evaluate the impact of cell wall changes in corn brought about by infection on processing of the lignocellulose in the OrganoCat technology. Smut fungal infections are used as an example, since they occur at low incidence in corn fields in Germany, which is not detrimental to yield, but entails changes in downstream processing of the biomass e.g. in silage conditions. We found that induction of tumors in seedlings causes changes in the composition of lignocellulose, but did not dramatically impact on OrganoCat processing suggesting that the changes are tolerated by this chemical breakdown and fractionation. In the future it will be interesting to investigate infected material from field-grown plants to verify that the robustness of the OrganoCat against smut fungal infection holds true. 


SEED FUND 2.0 Coordinator

Dr. V. Göhre
CG M. Feldbrügge
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
phone: +49 211 8111529



Dr. V. Ramirez; CG M. Pauly, Plant Cell Biology and Bioechnology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Prof. W. Leitner, Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry, RWTH Aachen University


Funding period

01.11.2018 - 31.12.2019



iBiomass is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.