Tasks and solution methods

The Innovation Alliance Biosurfactants is the first strategic alliance in Germany between renowned companies and research institutions to produce functionally optimized biotechnologically produced surfactants starting from domestic renewable raw materials and residual materials in an economical way. By systematic investigation of the performance profile, production and purification of these biosurfactants are to be optimized in such a way that they can be used in application areas such as detergents and cleaners, cosmetics, bioremediation, crop protection and food as an alternative to chemically synthesized surfactants.

Within the Innovation Alliance, various surfactants are to be produced by fermentation or enzymatic reaction. By using various microorganisms, enzymes and raw materials, such as different sugars and fatty acids of variable chain lengths, the surface active properties of these biosurfactants can be varied over a wide range, thus optimizing their functional properties. This structure-based development enables the definition and production of  biosurfactant molecules with functional properties adapted to the application.

The companies in the consortium investigate the specific properties and the performance profile of the new biosurfactant molecules already at an early stage. The developed prioritized biosurfactants will be produced biotechnologically, the processes optimized for a high space-time yield and efficient purification processes will be developed.

Throughout the entire process chain, sustainability analysis and evaluation of the renewable raw materials used, the processes and obtained products, a techno-economic evaluation, an assessment of the technological maturity of the processes and an estimation of the market relevance of the developed products are carried out in parallel to the development.

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