Dr. Katrin Pollmann
Head of the Biotechnology Department

Phone: +49 351 260 - 2946
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3553, -12946

Our Project Flyer:

Innovative Ore Processing by means of Biotechnology - flagship project at the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) - flyer title

Department of Biotechnology

Foto: Gruppenbild Abteilung Biotechnologie HIF ©Copyright: HZDR/Detlev Müller

Group Picture of the Biotechnology Department at HIF

Source: HZDR/Detlev Müller


Biomolecules, bacteria and other microorganisms considerably influence geochemical processes such as the formation or weathering of rocks. They bind to mineral surfaces or convert minerals through metabolic processes. Furthermore, many biological components interact with dissolved metals in their environment, bind them or transform them. Together with modern biotechnologies, these mechanisms can be used to develop energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly and economic technologies.

At the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, the Biotechnology Department predominantly conducts research for the development of biotechnological extracting and recycling procedures, also known as Biomining. The group aims at high-tech metals from primary and secondary raw materials.  This includes the biological extraction of metals from raw materials (bioleaching), the selective binding and recovery of metal ions from aqueous solutions (biosorption) and the selective particle separation with biological agents (bioflotation).

For this purpose, the biologists work closely with the other departments at the institute. Apart from developing new technologies, the focus is on fundamental microbiological research such as understanding the interactions of microorganisms or biomolecules with the metals and minerals in their environment.

Have a look into our Labs!

Virtueller Rundgang Labore Abteilung Biotechnologie ©Copyright: HZDR

Biotechnology Lab, © HZDR

Make a virtual tour and click through our laboratories. You'll find out which devices and equipment we work with and what we research with them. Click here for the discovery tour.

Wanted! Diploma Students and Trainees

We always look for biology, chemistry, or material sciences students who are interested in our interdisciplinary research areas. Please contact us for further information!