Surfactants and emulsifiers constitute an important class of chemical agents that are widely used in almost every sector of modern industry. The huge market demand is currently met almost exclusively by synthetic, mainly petroleum-based, chemical products, which are usually non-biodegradable and mostly toxic or GM plant based products (used in foods), which are undesirable by some end-users. Their biologically produced counterparts (i.e. bio-surfactants and bio-emulsifiers) offer more green sustainable alternatives. This has led to a number of manufactures, looking for ways to increase competitiveness through searching for underexploited sources such as the marine environment.
Our objectives are to develop (1) innovative approaches in discovering, characterizing and producing novel marine-derived bio-surfactants from a large bacterial collection (greater than 500 strains) housed at Heriot Watt University, originally isolated from various coastal and open ocean waters around the world, (2) novel, economic, and eco-friendly end-products with commercial applications in order to replace synthetic counterparts, and (3) to demonstrate the functionality of new product development for commercial exploitation. Our collection consists of novel bacterial species, originally isolated for their ability to degrade oils, with proven promise in this respect. For this reason, our consortium (consisting of academic institutions, industrial companies and end-users) offering a wide range of expertise, will address the technical bottlenecks for meeting our objectives, namely those of marine resource identification, sustainable supply, discovery pipeline and efficient production in biological systems. The relevance of our proposal to the work programme is underlined by its expected impact in increasing efficiency of discovery pipelines, the development of more economic and eco-friendly end-products and finally in contributing to the implementation of the objectives of the EU Blue Growth.
LEITAT’s role in the project:
- WP7: Proof-of-concept for end-user applications – Leader
- During the two-year duration of WP7, the final select few of promising SA candidates will be evaluated for their performance in applications specific to the needs of the four industrial end-users involved – essentially, the proof-of-concept to evaluate application potential of these SAs. This WP aims to deliver as close as possible, or even entry, to market any one or more of these promising SAs (bio-surfactants / bio-emulsifiers) to replace counterparts that are currently in use commercially but which have come out of favour for any one or more reasons described in section 1.3.2. The SAs will be evaluated independently by each of the industrial partners using their own in-house operations, testing at various conditions applicable to their needs and with their own quality control measures. In addition to providing a final outcome on application potential, the results from these evaluations will provide valuable information on the functional properties of the SAs in different formulations, such as their efficiencies in delivering viscosity, emulsion stability (e.g. with reduced inclusion requirement), reduced viscosity at high process temperatures, or reduced burn on in plant.
- Participation in WP2 on Functional characterisation, mode of action and toxicology
- Participation in WP5 on Optimization of fermentation and production of SAs
- Participation in WP8 on Dissemination and exploitation
- Participation in WP9 on Project management and monitoring
Number of Contract: H2020/635240
Coordinator: Heriot-Watt University (HWU)
Email LEITAT manager in charge: Raquel de Sousa
Starts: 1st of September 2015
Duration: 60 months
|LEITAT Technological Center||Spain|
|University of Ulster||United Kingdom|
|DEMOCRITUS UNIVERSITY OF THRACE||Greece|
|BIO BASE EUROPE||Belgium|
|MARLOW FOODS LIMITED||United Kingdom|
|MACPHIE OF GLENBERVIE LTD||United Kingdom|
|UNIVERSITY OF PATRAS||Greece|
|NOVA-INSTITUT FUR POLITISCHE UND OEKOLOGISCHE INNOVATION GMBH||Germany|