Address: Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany

Contact Person: Dr Kai Reineke

Telefon: +49 3315 6990

Fax: +49 3315 6998 49




The Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering (Leibniz ATB) develop sustainable technologies for a resource-efficient utilization of biological systems to produce food, raw materials, and energy to meet the challenges of the changing climate and global requirements. To achieve our goals we combine high quality basic research with practical applications…
Research is organized within four programs reflecting the interdisciplinary nature and the systemic approach of our research:

  • Precision farming and precision livestock production
  • Quality and safety of food and feed
  • Material and energetic use of biomass
  • Technology assessment in agriculture


Precision farming and precision livestock production

Our research aims at the site-specific optimization of techniques and processes in plant cultivation and animal husbandry to achieve a resource- efficient, environmentally sound, animal-friendly, and profitable agricultural production.
The implementation of site-specific production systems that can adapt to climate change requires a detailed understanding of the interactions of animals and plants with their environment. In order to capture process-relevant parameters non-invasively, sensors are being developed and integrated into the processes. The collected data are used for modeling production chains and to optimize process design.

Part objectives

  • Assessment of process relevant parameters
  • Modeling of prozesses
  • Design of production processes

Areas of application

  • Crop cultivation
  • Livestock farming
  • Horticulture


Quality and safety of food and feed

Our research spans the spectrum from primary production, processing, and consumption of food and feed using innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. We carry out basic and applied research horizontally along the supply chains as well as vertically, from the „molecular level“ to pilot scale. The research covers process chains from fresh or gently processed plant and animal products, including fruits, vegetables, grains, feed silage, milk and meat. By providing strategies for sustainable, product-specific and bioefficient techniques we can reduce losses. Designing processes to be energy-efficient, eco-friendly, ergonomic, and economical will help to ensure the quantity, quality, and safety of food in the future.

Our expertise:

  • Physiological and physical produce properties as the basis for the development of sensors as well as of monitoring and control strategies for the process design
  • Non-invasive methods to improve quality and safety assessment for the production of fresh produce in high quality
  • Model-based and resource-efficient processing, preserving, drying, and storage of food and feed

Thematic focus:

  • Produce properties in the process
  • Quality through sensor application
  • Hygiene monitoring
  • Bioefficient process design
  • Gentle conservation methods for feed


Material and energetic use of biomass

The research program „Material and energetic use of biomass“ aims to develop efficient techniques and processes for providing valuable materials and biogenic fuels from agriculture in order to contribute to a sustainable, bio-based ecomomy of materials and energy. Fiber crops and short rotation coppices (SRC) are processed mechanically into innovative products and fuels. By using thermal and biotechnological conversion processes, sugar- and starch-containing plants and their residues provide lactic acid, biochar and biogas. Research targets also a better understanding and control of the specific metabolic activity of the microorganisms involved. In order to increase the added value based on the extensive use of biogenic raw materials and wastes, we develop bio-refinery and cascade concepts in collaboration with industry partners.

Research fields:

  • Material use of biomass
  • Bioenergy


Technology assessment in agriculture

The research program investigates the competing uses of limited resources in agricultural systems from the perspective of efficient resource utilization and the cost-efficient provision of ecosystem services. We examine the application of technologies and processes in agriculture and their impacts on key processes in agricultural ecosystems. Our focus is on assessing resource efficiency in the farming, animal husbandry, and product processing methods that we use to produce food, feed, energy and materials. Our research aims at developing methods for the complex task of assessing technology use in agricultural systems. The results from such assessments will provide the basis for recommendations for different groups of actors in business, administration, and politics, as well as for the identification of research gaps and needs.

Research Areas

  • Water efficiency in agriculture
  • Energy efficiency in agriculture
  • Balancing of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Mitigation of Nitrogen emissions and GHG from agriculture
  • Institutions in transition to a biobased economy
  • Economic assessment of ecosystem services
  • Assessment of ICT in agriculture
  • Logistics and supply chain management

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