In addition to mild reaction conditions and high specificity, the biotechnological production of platform chemicals and biosurfactants also offers the advantage of using substrates based on renewable raw materials. The variety of products is almost inexhaustible due to the multitude of different microorganisms. Furthermore, products that are difficult to access through chemical synthesis can also be obtained. Our research group has established processes for the bioproduction of organic acids such as malic and itaconic acid as well as furan and other dicarboxylic acids.
Furthermore, we have many years of expertise in the production of microbial biosurfactants. Various fungi of the genera Ustilago sp. and Moesziomyces sp. naturally secrete the biosurfactants mannosylerythritollipide (MEL) and cellobioselipid (CL), so that they can be extracted from the culture medium. Characterizations of various MEL and CL variants showed a broad application potential, e.g. as cleaning agents, in cosmetics or as emulsifiers.
In our laboratories, we establish fermentation processes for bacteria and yeast cultivation from laboratory to pilot plant scale. We also use dimension-analytical scale transfer to design fermentations on a pilot scale. These scaled-up processes can be carried out in our own pilot plant at Fraunhofer CBP or at project partners and customers. Whenever possible, we use renewable raw materials such as lignocellulose-based sugar solutions or vegetable oils as substrates in the culture medium.