Current Projects

Humans are continuously surrounded by wood in their daily lives. Thereby, wood emits an odour, which is usually perceived as very pleasant and can have physiological effects on humans. Different species of wood, however, vary in grain, colour and hardness, and
they also emit different odours. The specific odour of each wood type is composed of a variety of volatile compounds leading to different overall odour impressions. The odour-active molecules will be identified and quantified in the different wood species, through application of human sensory evaluation in combination with odorant-analytical methods.

Development, or aging, is accompanied by a range of processes which impact physiology, behavior, and cognition. Recent evidence shows that humans are able to extract information about another person’s age from body odors. This project aims to elucidate the sensory and chemical changes in body odors related to human development.

Project Partner:

Prof. Dr. Ilona Croy (Technische Universität Dresden)

The C-PlaNeT Marie Sklodowska International Training Network has been approved. C-PlaNeT will create a European Joint Doctorate with 15 young PhD researchers on circular plastics economy. The C-PlaNet consortium is very multidisciplinary and consists of polymer chemists, process technologists, LCA-practicioners, social scientists and economists. The researchers will, next to their PhD research also attend a joint training programme.

Academic partners include Ghent University (Bel), KU Leuven (Bel), Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Ger), TU Berlin (Ger), University of Thessaloniki (Gr), Montanuniversität Leoben (Au) and Denmark Technical University (Dk). In addition, 23 other partners will be involved in the programme: 2 research institutes, 18 companies (including DOW, INEOS and Novo Nordisk), the City of Ghent, Plastics Europe and the Ellen McArthur Foundation.

ESR 8 – The project focuses on the characterization of the causative odour-active constituents in recycled plastics by using smell-guided chemo-analytical methods. The knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of the respective smells is used for guiding odour-minimization technologies. Furthermore, identification and adaptation of sensor strategies for in-line detection and monitoring of odour emissions in recycling processes are goals of this project.

ESR 15 – The project aims at recovering high-quality polymers from marine and/or beach plastics. Hence, suitable collection systems will be established for (1) in-depth physical and chemical characterization of the waste. In a subsequent step, (2) solvent-based recycling will be applied to recover purified target polymers. (3) Chemical recycling routes will be applied for non-target polymers, when material recycling proves not feasible.


Human body odor is important for interpersonal communication and can express one’s physiological and psychological status. The aim of this project is to establish sensory-analytical methods to investigate body odors and their relationship to the microbiome in health and disease. The results of this research will allow a better interpretation of the human (health) status using the body odor as a diagnostic tool.

Coordinator: Dr. Helene Loos

To understand olfaction, one needs to know the peripheral and central processes implicated in odour detection and perception. In this project, we will explore biochemical processes taking place in the nose, with the aim of gaining a comprehensive understanding of how aroma and odour perception is shaped by nasal metabolic products.

Project Partners:

Jean-Marie Heydel (University of Burgundy)

Fabrice Neiers (University of Burgundy)

Rémy Reynaud (University of Burgundy)

Thierry Thomas-Danguin (University of Burgundy)

Prof. Dr. Stephan Hackenberg (Universitätsklinikum Würzburg)

Dr. Maria Steinke (Universitätsklinikum Würzburg)



The transfer of chemosensorially active molecules and their metabolites from the mother’s diet into human milk is rarely studied systematically on a molecular level. The proposed project is designed to characterize and quantitate such transfer of food odorants and tastants into human milk. Therefore, an intervention study under most realistic conditions of consumption will be performed with a curry flavored dish. It will be investigated whether additional chemosensorially active metabolites formed upon biotransformation are generated in vivo and transferred into human milk and urine.

Project Partners:

Prof. Dr. Corinna Dawid (Technische Universität München)

Dr. Roman Lang (Technische Universität München)

The terpenoid and sesquiterpenoid fraction of food plant materials may undergo dramatic structural changes during their gastro-intestinal passage that have not been regarded to date when aiming at elucidating neurotropic effects of food constituents and odorants. The aims of the study are the characterization of potential biotransformation processes as well as the psychological potential of sesquiterpenoid compounds.

Project Partners:

Prof. Dr. Mirjana Minceva (Technische Universität München)

Prof. Dr. Carmen Villmann ; Dr. Daniela Zdzieblo (Universitätsklinikum Würzburg)








The project ErdEis II aims for realizing a so-called ‘Erdeisspeicher’ as a novel, emission-free, regenerative, near-surface geothermal energy source. Currently, it is not feasible to run the ‘Erdeisspeicher’ technology with pure water, but instead a water-glycol mixture is being used. Hence, the systems cannot be set up in water conservation areas. Therefore, a variety of investigations has to be conducted to guarantee the tightness of the system. Additionally, in case of a water-glycol leakage, potential effects on the environment and the subsequent degradation processes in different soil types have to be tested. For this purpose, the distribution of the potentially leaking fluids and their derivatives are tested in distinct model systems.

Project partners:

Geozentrum Nordbayern, Schleswiger Stadtwerke, Energie Plus Concept GmbH, TU Dresden and RWTH Aachen.

There is increasing evidence that olfaction plays a hitherto neglected role in the social behaviour of songbirds, including parent-offspring interaction. This project aims at identifying and characterizing behaviourally active compounds in songbird chemical communication.

Coordinator: Dr. Helene Loos

Project Partner: Prof. Dr. Barbara Caspers ( Universität Bielefeld)


High quality of (organic) foods along the supply chain is needed to ensure quality of foods for consumers without food loss. Using a combination of sensor technologies, optical methods and intelligent algorithms the project “SHIELD” aims at developing hand-held devices and smart software, which can easily be used in large and small enterprises. To enable the design of these technological advancements, we work on identifying marker substances for quality determination, which will subsequently serve as the basis for developing the new fast test methods

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner

Project Partners: Frauhofer IVV, Chair of Food Chemistry, Chair of Economics, Discrete Optimization, and Mathematics and the Machine Learning and Data Analytics at FAU, TH Nürnberg and other partners