The Faculty of the Doctoral School Advanced Biorefineries: Chemistry & Materials (ABC & M) consists of 8 Principal Investigators (PIs).

Principal Investigators

Karin Fackler is Head of Pulp and Biorefinery Technology at the Global R&D of Lenzing and holds her "venia docendi" in Bioresource Chemistry at the Institute of Chemical Engineering at Vienna University and Technology. The work of her research group is dedicated to process technology in the fields of pulping processes and pulping related biorefinery processes. Major research topics of her team are developing and optimizing wood pulping and bleaching for specialty wood based cellulose fibers (Viscose and Lyocell), improved recovery of process chemicals as well as developing new integrated biorefinery processes. The research is carried out in an industrial environment and aims at optimizing product qualities, yields, resource efficiency and costs.


Wolfgang Gindl-Altmutter is Professor for Natural Fibre Materials and Head of the Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Materials. He is the Scientific Director of Wood K plus – Competence Centre for Wood Composites and Wood Chemistry where he is responsible for the strategic development of research fields in the broad fields of renewable materials processing. His research interests are in synthesis and structure-property relationships of lignocellulosic materials, with focus on adhesion-related topics and self-binding materials, nanocellulose and natural fibres, innovative high-performance wood composites, and functionalised wood surfaces.


Georg M. Guebitz is full professor at University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and head of the Department of Agrobiotechnology and of the Instiute of Environmental Biotechnology. He also acts as the chairman of the polymer biotechnology section of the European Federation of Biotechnology. He teaches various lectures in the field of biotechnology based approaches for sustainable processes. His research interests are in the development of enzyme based strategies for polymer processing / functionalisation  and in environmental biotechnology. He participated in 30 European projects and coordinated 11 out of which. His achievements in the development of environmentally friendly processes using biotechnological approaches resulted in various awards, 15 patents and 340 peer reviewed publications. 


Ulrich Müller is senior researcher at the Institute of Wood Technology and Natural Resources, Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of engineered wood products and technology of engineered and structural wood hybrid materials. For creating tailor made wood components mathematical methods are applied. He worked on wood manufacturing, wood composites, wood processing, wood cutting and wood gluing. He has a special focus on mechanical and structural material characterization.


Christoph PFEIFER is professor at the Department of Material Sciences and Process Engineering and the focus of his research group is process engineering and performing process development as well as scientific support of process implementation, mainly based on thermo-chemical conversion techniques (gasification, hydrothermal carbonisation, pyrolysis). A major focus of the research is on fluidised bed technology. The tools applied are process engineering, mass- and energy balancing, measurement and control techniques as well as computational fluid dynamics.


Antje Potthast is professor at the department of chemistry and deputy head of the Division of Chemistry of Renewable Resources and the Austrian Biorefinery Center Tulln (ABCT). She is also speaker of the ABC&M doctorate school (Advanced biorefinery: chemistry & matetials). Her research interest is chemistry and analysis of lignocelluloses. With regard to cellulose, the main focus is on characterization and modification (pulp, fiber, paper) and degradation processes. A closely related field is paper conservation science, paper conservation treatments, their sustainability, and means to stabilize historic paper materials. Emphasis in the lignin field is placed on purification and characterization, in particular faster methods for functional group analysis and molar mass determination, as well as possible application scenarios for technical lignins by developing structure – function relationships.


Thomas Rosenau is professor at the Department of Chemistry and heads the Division of Chemistry of Renewable Resources and the Austrian Biorefinery Center Tulln (ABCT). He serves as Adjunct Professor of Fiber Chemistry at Shinshu University, Japan, and Adjunct Professor of Biorefinery Chemistry at the Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry Center at Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland. His general research interests are the chemistry of renewable resources, green chemistry approaches and biorefinery chemistry, with a focus on cellulose and lignin chemistry, analysis, and utilization. Special emphasis is placed on chemistry and structure of cellulose in sold state and in solutions, aging and chromophore formation in cellulosic products, and on novel cellulosic biomaterials.