TMFB - Cluster of Excellence "Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass"

Project duration: 2012–2019

Funding: DFG Excellence Initiative

Principle investigators
  • Prof. Dr. Henner Hollert (PI)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Schäffer (Co-PI)

Project Process
  • Dr. Miaomiao Du
  • Dr. Sebastian Heger
  • Dr. Kerstin Bluhm

Cooperation partners
  • Lehrstuhl für Technische Thermodynamik (RWTH Aachen)
  • Aachener Verfahrenstechnik, Enzymprozesstechnik (RWTH Aachen)
  • MPI für Kohleforschung
  • Fraunhofer IME
  • Ökoinstitut Darmstadt
  • With approx. 70 scientists from more than 20 other institutes

Project description

The Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-made fuels from biomass" (TMFB) aims at the development of a sustainable and economical design process for biomass-derived fuels. Within this project, ecotoxicological bioassays are integrated in the biofuel development as a “Green Toxicology" approach. It proposes the application of predictive toxicology as part of the sustainable development and production of less harmful chemicals, pharmaceuticals or other products. The basic idea of “Green Toxicology" is the identification of opportunities to design molecules with reduced environmental and human health hazards and, thus, to minimise the intrinsic toxicity of new products.
Since 2007, the Cluster of Excellence “Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass"(TMFB) has been working on a solution for one of the major challenges that our society is facing: a rising energy demand and the limited availability of fossil energy resources. For this purpose, researchers from the fields of chemistry, biology, process engineering and mechanical engineering have joined forces in this Cluster of Excellence to develop new alternative fuels from biomass which will not be competing with the food chain.
The vision of the cluster of excellence was to establish innovative and sustainable processes for the conversion of whole plants into fuels which are tailor-made for novel low-temperature combustion engine processes with high efficiency and low pollutant emissions, paving the way to the 3rd generation of biofuels. A tailor-made fuel as aimed for by the researchers in TMFB is defined as a well-defined blend of distinct molecular components with optimized physicochemical properties for future combustion systems, which can be produced by sustainable and economical production processes. In an interdisciplinary approach, more than 70 scientists were engaged in analyzing, understanding and optimizing the synthesis and combustion of such fuels.

Information Material

Below you can find further information on the former cluster "Tailor-Made Fuels from Biomass". The status reports of 2012-2014 and 2015-2016 contain an overview of all TMFB-projects and their results of the respective years. The image brochure contains general information about the Cluster of Excellence.

  • Bluhm, K., S. Heger, R. Redelstein, J. Brendt, N. Anders, P. Mayer, A. Schaeffer, and H. Hollert. 2018. 'Genotoxicity of three biofuel candidates compared to reference fuels', Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 64: 131-38.
  • Bluhm, K., S. Heger, T. B. Seiler, A. V. Hallare, A. Schaffer, and H. Hollert. 2012. 'Toxicological and ecotoxicological potencies of biofuels used for the transport sector-a literature review', Energy & Environmental Science, 5: 7381-92.
  • Heger, S., K. Bluhm, M. T. Agler, S. Maletz, A. Schaffer, T. B. Seiler, L. T. Angenent, and H. Hollert. 2012. 'Biotests for hazard assessment of biofuel fermentation', Energy & Environmental Science, 5: 9778-88.
  • Heger, S., K. Bluhm, J. Brendt, P. Mayer, N. Anders, A. Schaffer, T. B. Seiler, and H. Hollert. 2016. 'Microscale In Vitro Assays for the Investigation of Neutral Red Retention and Ethoxyresorufin-O-Deethylase of Biofuels and Fossil Fuels', Plos One, 11.
  • Heger, S., K. Bluhm, M. M. Du, G. Lehmann, N. Anders, D. Dechambre, A. Bardow, A. Schaffer, and H. Hollert. 2018. 'Aquatic toxicity of biofuel candidates on Daphnia magna', Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 164: 125-30.
  • Heger, S., M. M. Du, K. Bauer, A. Schaffer, and H. Hollert. 2018. 'Comparative ecotoxicity of potential biofuels to water flea (Daphnia magna), zebrafish (Danio rerio) and Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus) V79 cells', Science of The Total Environment, 631-632: 216-22.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Henner Hollert

Goethe University Frankfurt
Biologicum, Campus Riedberg
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Room: 3.319
Phone: +49 (0)69 798 42171
Fax: +49 (0)69 798 42161
Email: hollert(at)bio(dot)uni-frankfurt(dot)de

Former Affiliation: