Screening the Application Potential of a Yeast-Based Biosurfactant Portfolio



Surfactants are performance molecules that intervene in nearly every product and aspect of human daily life with a global turnover of $31 billion in 2016. Despite the efforts to move towards a bio-based economy, only 4% of the surfactant market is 100% bio-based (e.g. APGs and MESs). An even smaller part (<0.1 %) of the market is not only 100% bio-based, but also produced through biological processes, such as microbial, plant-based and/or enzymatic processes. Although a lot of companies are striving towards such sustainable solutions, current limitations blocking valorisation of such technologies are the higher production costs as well as the limited structural variability and subsequent lack of physicochemical (and biological) properties.


The AppliSurf project will apply a combination of genetic modification, fermentation development/optimization and green chemistry to enable commercial production of an innovative and broad portfolio of biosurfactant structures at an acceptable cost. The unique properties of these ‘new-to-market’ biosurfactants will be identified by high throughput screening for industrially relevant properties (foaming, emulsification, wetting, gelling, antimicrobial properties, etc.). Subsequent structure-function modeling of this family of compounds will enable the prediction of the properties of compounds not included in the screen. The latter will maximize the output of the project, also after the projects’ end. Scale-up of the optimized production processes will generate samples for in-house evaluation by the members of the industrial user group.

Project details

Project type
Innovation Programme
Biobased Value Chains
Project status
Approved on
Project date
€624 817
€499 853