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Competence Center Polysaccharide Research

The Competence Center Polysaccharide Research (KZP) is a high-performance research institution founded in 2002 by six international corporations at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and the Thuringian Institute for Textile and Plastics Research e.V. Rudolstadt and financially supported by the group of companies until 2007. The focus is on joint R&D work on polysaccharides as functional raw materials of the future.


Products and processes are investigated and developed within both basic and applied research. In this context, the KZP pursues different strategies for the derivatization of biopolymers under homogeneous and heterogeneous reaction conditions
and for regioselective functionalization. The available technology also allows the transfer of processes to pilot plant scale.

Furthermore, the work of the KZP guarantees the education and training of students in the field of bioorganic chemistry with a focus on polysaccharides, organic and macromolecular chemistry in the long term. Numerous post-docs, PhD students, diploma students and undergraduates are actively involved in the research work of the KZP.

Research work

  • alternative solvents for cellulose such as ionic liquids as a novel type of environmentally friendly media
  • synthesis of polysaccharide esters with functional carboxylic acids and their transformation into smart membranes as well as investigation of their separation properties
  • Study of mixed-substituted polysaccharide products with adjustable amphiphil for application as alternative surfactants
  • study of the effect of highly substituted, cationic starch derivatives as flocculants
  • nanostructured polysaccharide materials
  • Conversion of wood residues into thermoplastic materials and for chemical modification of hemicelluloses


  • structural characterization of polysaccharides and polysaccharide derivatives
  • Derivatization of polysaccharides
  • Nanostructuring
  • Polysaccharide solvents and homogeneous reactions of polysaccharides

Foundation by

  • Borregaard ChemCell
  • Dow Deutschland Inc.
  • Hercules GmbH
  • Rhodia Acetow GmbH
  • SE Tylose GmbH & Co. KG
  • Wolff Cellulosics GmbH + Co. KG