Company History

A proud member of the biobased economy since 1921.

Innovative Tradition

Our company was founded by Wilhelm Vogelbusch in 1921.

His reputation preceded him when German-born Wilhelm Vogelbusch set himself up in Vienna as a technical consultant. Very soon his customers included the major fermentation industry players in Europe and the United States.

An exceptionally gifted engineer, he rapidly made a name for himself by inventing improved evaporation, distillation, and aeration equipment. He set new standards for yeast and alcohol production technology, and his many inventions won him a place in the history of chemical engineering and the textbooks read by generations of students.

Wilhelm Vogelbusch’s business philosophy centered on finding solutions to the problems of his customers. By remaining true to his legacy of focusing on the customer and making a commitment to innovation, his company went on to become a leading supplier to the global bioprocess sector.

Efficient & effective

Then, as now, attention was focused on efficiency, energy conservation, and product purity. Starting with the development of equipment and technical facilities, attention later concentrated on the optimization of process cycles. Profound knowledge of raw material specifications, process management and fabrication of the end product finally led to the development of our own processes which are now in use around the world.

Integrating well in today’s biobased industry landscape, the business Wilhelm Vogelbusch founded is stronger than ever. It has kept to its innovative traditions, and its ability to translate cutting edge technology into solid commercial gains is undiminished.

5 WilhelmVogelbusch1920
Wilhelm Vogelbusch, founder

"At the suggestion of a shareholder in Vereinigte Mautner Markhof'sche Presshefefabriken, Mr. Karl Harmer, and of Mr. Georg Mautner Markhof sen., I set myself up in Vienna as a technical consultant for apparatus engineering, ethyl alcohol, and compressed yeast."

5 Evaporation1931
The early years

Focused on improving process equipment, the Inclining Pipe Evaporator is developed by Wilhelm Vogelbusch in the 1920s. The novel system is widely disseminated in the chemical, food and beverage industries. In synthetic fiber production alone, hundreds of evaporation units for spinning bath solutions are set up all across Europe. The superiority of this evaporator type serves as the basis for further developments and outstanding technical solutions. (1931)

5 Distillation1956BR
Patented designs

Innovative tray designs for distillation and rectification columns improve the separation performance in alcohol production, and further drive the success of the company. (1954)

5 Feinstbelueftung1950
Aeration systems

Optimizing fermentation processes and the associated aeration systems is another field motivating the inventive mind of Wilhelm Vogelbusch. He develops different aeration systems for a range of applications, some of which are still in use today. (1956)

New ownership

Now feeling his age, Wilhelm Vogelbusch approaches Vereinigte Alkohol- und Hefefabriken Mautner Markhof  – the largest fermentation group in Austria – to take over his company.


Schoeller Bleckmann, later VEW, the supplier of equipment for numerous Vogelbusch plants, acquires the majority of the company shares from Mautner Markhof.


Wilhelm Vogelbusch, who has continued to serve the company as a consultant on a case-by-case basis, dies at the age of 92.

Spreading out

The company is taken over by the plant construction subsidiary of the Austrian state-owned VOEST Alpine group, which gives Vogelbusch access to a worldwide network of liaison offices and representations.


The developing U.S. fuel alcohol market prompts Vogelbusch to establish a subsidiary in Houston, Texas.


A subsidiary is set up in Hong Kong to give Vogelbusch a gateway to the People's Republic of China.

Private and independent

In the year of its 75th anniversary, Vogelbusch returns to private ownership by means of a management buyout.


The two divisions, Biocommodities and Biopharma, are demerged into separate companies, which are wholly owned by VOGELBUSCH GmbH.