Sustainable and scalable alternatives to chemically synthesized surfactants

For the first time in Germany, renowned companies and research institutions have joined forces in a strategic alliance with the Innovation Alliance Biotenside in order to find sustainable and scalable alternatives to chemically synthesized surfactants that have so far been made from fossil raw materials. For this purpose, we research and develop the process engineering production of biosurfactants using biotechnological methods based on domestic renewable raw materials and residues and systematically examine their application potential, e.g. in the fields of detergents and cleaning agents, cosmetics, bioremediation, plant protection and food.

During the first funding phase (2018 –2020), the provision of regionally available raw materials containing sugar, fat and oil was used, various microorganisms for the production of different biosurfactant classes were examined and promising candidates for subsequent process development on a laboratory scale were selected and made available for application studies.

In the second funding phase, which started on July 1, 2021 the fermentation and downstream processing processes are to be further developed with regard to robust, controllable and automatized processes and simplified processing methods to enable gradual scaling to the next order of magnitude.