Thünen Institute of Wood Research & University of Hamburg, Germany

Description of Wood Research Campus:

On the basis of an official agreement between the Federal Government and the Hanseatic City of Hamburg there is a successful cooperation of the Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, the Thünen Institute (TI) and the Department of Wood Science (University of Hamburg). Thünen Institute of Wood Research is one of totally 14 institutes. Together with the Department of Wood Science approx. 160 scientists, technicians and employees are working at the Wood Research Campus. The Campus combines science, engineering and economic approaches to the sustainable use of the natural, renewable raw material wood for the production of innovative materials and bioenergy. In collaboration with the TI the University of Hamburg offers the BSc and MSc courses of wood sciences as well as the opportunity for PhD students to do research for their doctor theses.

Research activities aim the improvement of conventional processes and the development of innovative bio refinery technologies for utilization of wood and other lignocellulosic materials. The objectives of these topics are an increase of the efficiency of the conversion to chemical feedstocks and energy. Moreover, the utilization of by-products and waste materials from various industries is a major focus. For process optimisation, new analysis techniques are developed using chemical and biochemical procedures and modern spectroscopic and chromatographic methods.

Description of the polysaccharide research activities:

  • Characterization of polysaccharides in wood fibres, pulps and annual plants
  • Investigations on cellulose and hemicelluloses (xylan and glucomannan incl. their derivatives)
  • Development of technical applications of novel products (nanofibrillated cellulose, xylan)
  • Biotechnological processes for pulp, polysaccharides, industrial waste products (paper sludge)
  • Development of chemical and biochemical technologies for degradative conversion of wood polysaccharides into chemical feedstocks
  • Production of paper grade and dissolving pulps

Main pieces of equipment’s:


  • NMR-spectroscopy 400 MHz: liquid samples
  • NMR-spectroscopy 400 MHz: HR-MAS rotor for gels
  • UV/VIS-spectroscopy
  • FTIR-spectroscopy


  • Borate-HPAEC
  • HPAEC with PAD and UV/VIS detection
  • HPAEC with PAD
  • SEC’s with MALS, viscosity, RI and UV/VIS-detection
  • HPLC with UV/VIS- and fluorescence detection
  • Py-GS/MS


  • Digesters and bleaching equipment incl. organosolv and steaming-pretreatment equipment in explosion-proof pilot hall
  • C/H/N elementary analysis
  • Dynamic Light Scattering Particle Size Analyser
  • Microfluidizer
  • Automatic methane potential test system (biogas plant)
  • Fibrelab
  • Viscometer
  • Zeta potential titration
  • Rheometer
  • Autoclave
  • Freeze dryer
  • Karl Fischer titration
  • Sheet former
  • Equipment for waste-paper regeneration


Prof. Dr. Bodo Saake;

Phone: +49 40 73962 510
FAX: +49 40 73962 599


Leuschnerstr. 91B
21031 Hamburg, Germany