Environment, Hygiene and Sensor Technology

Fire, water, air and earth, the four elements determine the work undertaken by the Department of Environment, Hygiene and Sensor Technology. We optimize combustion plants for generating energy from biomass and help manufacturers from a wide range of industries, such as the automotive, aviation and construction sectors, to reduce undesirable emissions from their products or production plants. To achieve this, we use not only modern trace analysis or the noses of our test persons, but also electrical sensors, which we adapt, optimize and further develop for their intended purpose. The past few years have clearly demonstrated the impact that indoor air can have on our health. A key working area of our colleagues is on optimizing the quality of indoor air from a hygienic point of view. Here, our work ranges from recording current chemical or microbiological conditions to validating air purifying systems.

In built-up areas, rain can release substances from the air which impair the durability of materials. Our team of chemists and biologists finds out which substances are released and assesses their impact on the environment as well as on the durability of buildings.
Microorganisms can cause damage to buildings. We apply taxonomic and genetic methods to characterize these organisms in order to give manufacturers of building products sound advice as they develop new products.

Overview of expertise


Indoor air quality

These days, people often spend more than 80 percent of their time indoors. Interiors include not only rooms in buildings, but also the interior of means of transport. Our trained specialists use the latest measurement methods to assess the quality of all kinds of indoor air (including the air quality in aircraft, in vehicles and in buildings).



Using state-of-the-art analytical methods, we determine the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by building products, automotive components and drive units.



VOC emissions impair the quality of the air. Our trained test persons assess the intensity and type of odor from materials.  We adapt electrical VOC sensors to meet your practical requirements.


Materials and causes of damage

Thanks to the experience of our employees and our extensively-equipped material analysis laboratories, we can measure a wide range of material parameters and find out what triggers component or material failure. This is because causes of damage are often not obvious at first glance.


Ecology and microbiology

How do inhabited and built-up areas interact with each other? We implement trace analytical methods to detect traces of substances from buildings and their products of transformation. Interactions between organisms and buildings can be identified using taxonomic and genetic methods.


Combustion and environmental technology

The CO2 balance can be improved by using biomass as an alternative fuel to generate energy. Our team develops technical facilities for solid fuel furnaces that improve efficiency while simultaneously reducing pollutant emissions.