Green chemicals are still scarce
Medium-chain carboxylates are valuable chemicals with a wide range of applications in various industries (e.g. food and animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, lubricant and cleaning agent industry). And they are still produced from palm kernel oil or fossil raw materials.
Lignocellulosic waste as a resource
The more sustainable alternative way of producing them through anaerobic fermentation with bacteria is limited to a few locally available organic wastes and residues.
Waste streams rich in cellulose and hemicellulose are available in large quantities. However, their use as a resource to produce medium-chain carboxylates by anaerobic fermentation is hampered by their stable chemical structure.
The key: a tailor-made bacterial community
The Cell4Chem project combines carboxylates-producing bacteria with bacterial specialists that can tackle the complex nature of lignocellulosic biomass in engineered bacterial communities. Tools and strategies are being developed to unlock the full potential of microbial communities and pave the way for their use in biotechnological processes.
Cell4Chem is funded under the 3rd ERA CoBioTech Joint Transnational Call.