OLEOFERM: Sustainable oleochemicals bioproduction from carboxylates via oleaginous fermentation

The use of new biomass feedstock for conversion into microbial oils is crucial to unlock the full potential of different macromolecular wastes. To reach this, OLEOFERM technology proposes short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), produced during anaerobic fermentation of organic wastes, as a suitable feedstock for microbial oil production via yeast fermentation. Given the great wastes heterogeneity, anaerobic fermentation is considered a very favorable technology since all the organic matter present in the substrate (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) is potentially used for SCFAs production instead of solely the carbohydrate fraction, such is the case of the sugar platform. In this manner, the traditional sugar-based process can be substituted by a SCFAs (carboxylate)-based technology which enables bioprocess flexibility upon different substrates while opening the range of utilized molecules.

Thus, OLEOFERM project aims at the sustainable bioproduction of oleochemicals from carboxylates via oleaginous fermentation. OLEOFERM implies a new oleochemicals supply chain by the interconnection of two bioprocesses including anaerobic fermentation of organic wastes for SCFAs production and oleaginous fermentation for microbial oils.

Transition towards feedstock based on wastes can be challenging, but also an opportunity for producing economically competitive biobased chemicals. However, the success of OLEOFERM is guaranteed by a multidisciplinary consortium with high expertise for setting cutting-edge and innovative solutions for microbial oils production. This strategy is envisaged as a promising technology to render microbial oil production more profitable and sustainable and opens a new window for producing economically competitive oleochemicals.

Partners: Fundación IMDEA Energía (coordinador – Spain), Université Clermont Auvergne (France), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), BIO-VALO S.A.S (France).
Funding Institution/Program: MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR / APCIN 2021 & ERA CoBioTech Third Joint Call
Period: April 2021- March 2024
IP IMDEA Energy: Dr. Cristina González Fernández