About the project
Production economy is the major bottleneck in most biotechnological processes, being the raw material the 10 to 30% of the total production costs. Due to the high expense of the pure carbohydrates used as raw materials in several research studies made so far, the industrial scale development does not turn out feasible. A clear need exists to reduce this cost. The overall objective of this project is the biological production of high value bio-products from oil waste or technical fats.
This project proposes the use of cheap and agro-based materials as substrates for bio-surfactant production, including plant-derived oils, oil wastes, starchy substances, whey and distillery waste. Incorporation of cheaper oils and oil wastes in the industrial production media might potentially reduce the overall costs of bio-surfactant production. This project Bio-SURFEST will develop two biotechnological processes at semi-industrial scale in order to produce two different classes of bio-products; bio-surfactants and ester oils. Bio-surfactants will be produced by fermentative process and ester oils will be produced by enzymatic catalysis. Bio-SURFEST focuses on the biotechnological optimization of bio-products syntheses.
Bio-products will be obtained, purified and finally tested for their use in different applications. The consortium consists of nine memberships from five different countries (Germany, Netherland, Lithuania, Greece and Spain). Among them, four SME companies and a big industrial partner, one university and three research and technology development centres. Contract research will be performed by Spanish, Lithuanian and German research institutions and a Greek university, which provide a unique integration of know-how on biotechnological processes; fermentation technologies and enzymatic processes and on development of new materials applying bio-catalytic methods. The Spanish, Greek, Dutch and German industries will provide the necessary techno-economic knowledge to promote the transformation of the results obtained into industrial products. Application of bio-products obtained with Bio-SURFEST project will be expanded in different market areas with the improvement of reduction in raw materials costs and the advantages of biodegradability, low toxicity, biocompatibility and digestibility, etc.