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Hans Joachim Nägele

Project Lead Switzerland

The research group of Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy is dedicated to teaching, researching, and promoting forward-thinking concepts such as the circular economy and bioeconomy. Our main goal is to ensure quality of life and responsibly preserve natural resources for future generations. With passion, we advocate for sustainability and work towards conserving and efficiently utilizing natural resources like soil, air, water, and biomass. Our work in the "Sustainable Solutions" focus area contributes to developing innovative solutions that maintain ecological integrity while advancing the new biomass-based economic approach.

The core competencies of the research group include microbiological processes for converting and utilizing biomass, organic waste, and wastewater into higher-value products. Closing material loops and utilizing renewable energy are at the forefront of our work. Our group's tasks encompass practical and applied research at laboratory and pilot scales, technology optimization, and feasibility studies.

As the son of a farming family, I have a close connection to agriculture, which I fostered through my studies at the Nürtingen University of applied Sciences and Humboldt University zu Berlin. During my doctoral thesis at the State Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy in Stuttgart/Germany, I focused on practical-scale biogas research. The world's first research biogas plant at the practical scale at the University of Hohenheim was my laboratory. The fascination for applied research has been with me ever since. Since 2018, I've been able to continue this work as a lecturer, project leader, and, since 2021, as the head of the research group “Environmental Biotechnology and Bioenergy” at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Collaborating with colleagues from around the world continues to inspire me and drives me to develop solutions for future generations.

"In my understanding, biomass, waste, and wastewater are valuable resources that will play a central role in the context of the bioeconomy. Through biotechnological processes, they can be sustainably utilized both energetically and materially within the framework of the circular economy. In the scope of the FUNGAS project, we focus on the exciting research area of anaerobic fungi, aiming to enhance the efficiency of biogas plants using their enzymes."

Hans Joachim Nägele
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