Institut für Systembiotechnologie

Sustainable bio-production of the platform chemical biosuccinic acid

Bio-succinic acid is a top-value molecule. It is regarded the third most promising chemical for future bio-production worldwide and offers a variety of potential applications, such as the biopolymer polybutylene succinate (PBS), as well as polyurethanes, coatings and life science products. Since 2009, we cooperate with BASF SE on metabolic engineering of the proprietary microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens (left), which allows for flexible feedstock use. Recently, Succinity, a joint venture of Corbion Purac and BASF for bio-based succinic acid, has started up of its first commercial production facility at Corbion Purac's Montmeló, Spain, site with an annual output of 10,000 tons, designed to supply the global market and representing a "key milestone" in its plan to become a major producer of the renewable acid.


  • Elucidation of the metabolism of B. succiniciproducens on the level of molecular carbon fluxes using 13C-based metabolic flux analysis
  • Knowledge-based metabolic engineering for improved production performance
  • Development of robust strains for bio-based succinic acid through evolutive strain engineering


Lange A, Becker J, Schulze D, Cahoreau E, Portais JC, Haefner S, Schröder H, Krawczyk J, Zelder O, Wittmann C (2017) Bio-based succinate from sucrose: High-resolution 13C metabolic flux analysis and metabolic engineering of the rumen bacterium Basfia succiniciproducens. Metab. Eng. 44:198-212. Link.

Becker J, Fabarius J, Lange A, Wittmann C (2015) Top value platform chemicals: bio-based production of organic acids. Curr Opin Biotechnol. In press. Link.

Becker J, Reinefeld J, Stellmacher R, Schäfer R, Lange A, Meyer H, Lalk M, Zelder O, von Abendroth G, Schröder H, Häfner S, Wittmann C (2013) Systems-wide analysis and engineering of metabolic pathway fluxes in bio-succinic acid producing Basfia succiniciproducens. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 110:3013-3023. Link.