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People > Prof. Dr. ir. Largus (Lars) Angenent




Center for Applied Geosciences

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology


Lars Angenent works in the field of environmental biotechnology with an interest in recovering carbon with open cultures (reactor microbiomes), defined mixed cultures, or pure cultures of microbes. This, to generate specific products, such as the energy carriers methane; medium-chain carboxylic acids, such as n-caproic acid and n-caprylic acid; electric current; n-butanol; and ethanol. Pretreatment of the biomass may be necessary to increase the conversion rates, and therefore Lars Angenent is also interested in physical/chemical (e.g., dilute acid method), thermochemical (e.g., slow pyrolysis), and biological pretreatment steps. In regards to bioprocessing, Lars Angenent studies anaerobic digestion, anaerobic fermentation, bioelectrochemical systems, syngas fermentation, and ABE fermentation. Other areas of interest are biosensors and biocomputing devices that are based on bioelectrochemical systems (BESs); electric power storage; and photobioreactors.

For organic waste conversion into bioenergy and biochemicals, Lars Angenent is promoting the carboxylate platform as an important platform in biorefineries because water and nutrients must be recycled while bioenergy yields must be maximized. This platform is based on microbial conversions with open cultures that can handle the complexity and variability of organic wastes. Therefore, Lars Angenent is interested in the microbial community dynamics in engineered systems. For this reason, his lab utilizes second-generation sequencing platforms in combination with powerful bioinformatic tools and ecology theory.

His interests are broader than just bioprocessing and he is also working on the characterization of microbiomes in air. This has led to collaborations with medical researchers to study the lung microbiome after perturbations with specific chemicals or microbial interactions.


Lars Angenent in his lab in Tübingen.



Lars Angenent invented a novel anaerobic bioreactor during his PhD-thesis research:

Anaerobic migrating blanket reactor (AMBR)