Department of Ecogenetics and Systems Biology - Division of Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics

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Mag. biol. Mag. biol. Dr. techn. Simon Rittmann

Room: 1.118
1090 Wien, Althanstraße 14 (UZA I)
T: +43-1-4277-76513
F: +43-1-4277-876513



1.) Biotechnology of Archaea
with focus on
- biohydrogen and biomethane production
- anaerobic cultivation, fermentation and bioprocess development

2.) Physiology of Archaea
with a focus on
- metabolism of methanogens and other anaerobic Archaea
- regulation of metabolic reactions in halophilic Archaea and Thaumarchaeota

Archaea Physiology and Biotechnology

Group Members:

Ruth-Sophie Taubner
Annalisa Abdel Azim
Barbara Reischl
Christian Pruckner

Former Members: Philipp Kolar, Michael Melcher



Since 01/2014

Assistant Professor, Post Doc, University of Vienna, Archaea Biology and Ecogenomics Division, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, Vienna, Austria

11/2012 - 12/2013

Post Doc - Krajete GmbH, Linz, Austria

10/2009 - 12/2012

"Development of an optimized application portfolio of biological methanogenesis", FFG Project, No. 830003, Department of Chemical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

02/2007 - 04/2009

Research Assistant, Intercell AG, Department of Molecular Microbiology, Vienna, Austria

01/2006 - 11/2006

“Cropgen” - Renewable energy from crops and agrowastes, EU project, Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

05/2003 - 04/2004

“Halobakterien aus permischem Salz”, FWF Project: P 13995, Institute of Genetics and General Biology, Faculty of NaturalSciences, University of Salzburg, Austria



Graduation: Dr. techn.
Doktor der Technischen Wissenschaften, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

10/2009 - 12/2012

"Bioprocess development and quantitative analysis of biomethane production and dark fermentative biohydrogen production”, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry, Vienna University of Technology, Austria


Graduation with honours: MSc
Magister der Biologie, University of Salzburg, Austria

01/2008 - 01/2009

Diploma Study
“Overview on fermentative microorganisms capable of biohydrogen production - a putative comprehensive survey of literature", Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria


Graduation with honours: MSc
Magister der Biologie, University of Salzburg, Austria

09/2004 - 10/2005

Diploma Study
"Identification of 14-3-3 isoforms in
Lilium longiflorum pollen”, Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria

03/2005 - 02/2006

University Studies
Magisterstudium: Botanik/Pflanzenbiologie, University of Salzburg, Austria

04/2003 - 03/2009

University Studies
Magisterstudium: Genetik/Biotechnologie, University of Salzburg, Austria


Graduation: Bachelor
Bakkalaureus der Biologie, University of Salzburg, Austria

10/1999 - 03/2003

University Studies
Bakkalaureatstudium: Genetik/Molekularbiologie, University of Salzburg, Austria

09/1997 - 10/1999

Military Service
Education as Officer in the German Forces, Specialisation: Gebirgsjäger (mountain soldier), in Bad Reichenhall, Berchtesgaden and Mittenwald, Germany



Rudolf-Steiner Schule, Salzburg, Austria

Publications (peer-reviewed)


Taubner RS, Rittmann SK (2016) Method for Indirect Quantification of CH4 via H2O Production Using Hydrogenotrophic Methanogens. Frontiers in Microbiology 7: 532. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00532.


Taubner RS, Schleper C, Firneis MG, Rittmann SK (2015) Assessing the Ecophysiology of Methanogens in the Context of Recent Astrobiologcial and Planetological Studies. Life 5(4) 1652–1686; doi:10.3390/life5041652.


Rittmann SK, Seifert A, Herwig C (2015) Essential prerequisites for successful bioprocess development of biological CH4 production from H2 and CO2. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology 35(2):141-151.


Rittmann SK, Lee HS, Lim JK, Kim TW, Kang SG (2015) One-carbon substrate-based biohydrogen production: Microbes, mechanism, and productivity. Biotechnology Advances 33: 165-177.


Bernacchi S, Rittmann S, Seifert AH, Krajete A, Herwig C (2014) Experimental methods for screening parameters influencing the growth to product yield (Y(x/CH4)) for a biological methane production (BMP) process performed with Methanothermobacter marburgensis. AIMS Bioengineering 1(2): 72-87.


Stieglmeier M, Klingl A, Alves RJE, Rittmann SK, Melcher M, Leisch N, Schleper C (2014) Nitrososphaera viennensis sp. nov., an aerobic and mesophilic ammonia oxidizing archaeon from soil and member of the novel archaeal phylum Thaumarchaeota. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 64: 2738–2752.


Seifert A, Rittmann S, Herwig C (2014) Analysis of process related factors to increase volumetric productivity and quality of biomethane with Methanothermobacter marburgensis. Applied Energy 132: 155-162.


Rittmann S, Holubar P (2014) Rapid extraction of total RNA from anaerobic sludge biocoenosis. Folia Microbiologica (Praha) 59: 127-132.


Martinez-Porqueraz E, Rittmann S, Herwig C (2013) Analysis of H2 to CO2 yield and physiological key parameters of Enterobacter aerogenes and Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 38: 10245-10251.


Seifert A, Rittmann S, Bernacchi S, Herwig C (2013) Method for assessing the impact of industrial flue gasses on CH4 production with Methanothermobacter marburgensis. Bioresource Technology 136: 747-751.


Spadiut O, Rittmann S, Dietzsch C, Herwig C (2013) Dynamic process conditions in bioprocess development. Engineering in Life Sciences 13: 88-101.


Rittmann S, Herwig C (2012) A comprehensive and quantitative review of dark fermentative biohydrogen production. Microbial Cell Factories 11: 115.


Martinez-Porqueras E, Rittmann S, Herwig C (2012) Biofuels and CO2 neutrality: an opportunity. Biofuels 3(4): 413-426.


Rittmann S, Seifert A, Herwig C (2012) Quantitative analysis of media dilution rate effects on Methanothermobacter marburgensis grown in continuous culture on H2 and CO2. Biomass and Bioenergy 36: 293-301.


Pertl H, Rittmann S, Schulze W, Obermeyer G (2011) Identification of lily pollen 14-3-3 isoforms and their subcellular and time-dependent expression profile. Biological Chemistry 392(3): 249-62.

Book chapters

Rittmann SK (2015) A critical assessment of microbiological biogas to biomethane upgrading systems, In: Gübitz GM, Bauer A, Bochmann G, Gronauer A, Weiss S. Biogas Science and Technology, Series: Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 151: 117-135.

Other publications

Rittmann SK, Seifert AH, Krajete A (2014) Biomethanisierung – ein Prozess zur Ermöglichung der Energiewende? BIOspektrum 20(7): 816-817. DOI: 10.1007/s12268-014.



Krajete A, Herwig C, Rittmann SK, Seifert A, Bernacchi S (2014) Method and system for producing methane using methanogenic microorganisms and applying specific nitrogen concentrations in the liquid phase, WO2014/128300-A1


Krajete A, Herwig C, Rittmann S, Seifert A (2014) Method and system for producing methane using high gas feed rates, WO2014009026-A1


Herwig C, Rittmann S, Lorantfy B, Jazini M, Henssen G, Pohl W (2013) Method for the reduction of total organic carbon in hypersaline water, WO2013124375-A3

Invited lectures


Rittmann SK. Archaea Biotechnology – Biomethanation of H2 and CO2 to CH4, Nanotech ITALY, 25.11.2015-27.11.15, Bologna, Italy


Rittmann SK, Bernacchi S, Seifert A, Krajete A. Neueste Entwicklungen im Bereich der Biologischen Methanisierung, Fachforum Biologische Methanisierung, 11.11.2015, Regensburg, Germany


Rittmann SK, Taubner RS, Schleper C. Progress in Archaea Biotechnology - biohydrogen and biomethane production, Institute of Microbiology, 26.03.2015, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Presentations (selection)


Taubner RS, Rittmann SK. 2015, Method for determination of methane production via water production using hydrogenotrophic methanogens; 9th International Symposium on Anaerobic Microbiology (ISAM 9) 25.06.15-27.06.15, Portorož, Slovenia, ISBN: 978-961-6204-71-2.


Bernacchi S, Seifert A, Krajete A, Rittmann S. Anwendungen der Methanogenese zur Biogasveredelung und Stromspeicherung, Biogas13, 04.12.13-05.12.13, St. Pölten, Austria.


Rittmann S., Seifert A., Krajete A. Bioprocess development for thermophilic biological methane production from H and CO, 12 International Meeting Thermophiles, 08.09.13-13.09.13, Regensburg, Germany.


Bernacchi S., Seifert A., Rittmann S., Krajete A. Biological methanogenesis for intermittent power storage, 2. Forum Power to Gas – Integration von Biogasanlagen & Biologische Methanisierung, 10.09.2013, Regensburg, Germany.


Rittmann S, Seifert A, Bernacchi S. Prerequisites for pure culture biological methane production – a case study with Methanothermobacter marburgensis, 8th International Symposium on Anaerobic Microbiology (ISAM 8), 12.06.2013-15.06.2013, Innsbruck, Austria, ISBN:978-3-902936-03-5.

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