Breakthrough in mass production of rhamnolipids – Supramolecular complex
makes cosmetics, pharmaceutical and agricultural products more environmentally and health friendly
• Industry First: Biotensidon Develops Reliable Technology for Cost-Effective
Mass Production of Rhamnolipids
• Double-digit million investment to build production capacity for
5,000 tonnes annually
• GMO-free supramolecular complex replaces chemical surfactants in cosmetics and
pharmaceuticals products and increases the efficiency of active substances
• Biotechnology research enabled strong reduction of toxic
fertilizers in agriculture and prophylactic antibiotics in factory farming
Karlsruhe / Zug, December 12, 2016 – As Industry First, Biotensidon
GmbH has developed the ability to produce rhamnolipids on an industrial
scale cost-effectively . Rhamnolipids are highly effective,
human- and environment-friendly surfactants and due to these properties
replace less compatible synthetic surfactants in several economic sectors in the coming years . Biotensidon’s investor injected another double-digit million investment into the start-up to achieve
this development goal, for which biotensidone was awarded second prize in
the prestigious Next Economy Award (Nature) in November
. Of the
Capital inflow will be used to build up production capacity for an annual production
of 5,000 tonnes of a new supramolecular complex.
This amount is sufficient to produce very large quantities of antibiotics-free animal feed, environmentally and
health- friendly cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, fertilizers,
detergents and degreasers and extinguishing foam.
Rhamnolipids are produced from non-pathogenic microorganisms by fermentation
. More effective than yeast-based surfactants, they are the most effective biological
surfactants and therefore a key element in the greening of various
industrial sectors. The mass production of rhamnolipids will ultimately also
help to reduce the use of palm oil, the production of which
endangers the conservation of tropical rainforests.
In combination with pyoverdines and alginates, the biotensidone rhamnolipids form
one of the most effective supramolecular complexes (product name rhapynal), which has no
negative side effects for humans and nature. Rhapynal is multifunctional
and is suitable for the following applications, among others:
• Emulsifier and drug enhancers in cosmetics and pharmaceutical
products: allows a significant reduction in the amount of active ingredient
• Seed coating, to increase yields and to reduce ecologically
difficult fertilizers and water consumption
• Antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal animal feed additive, to reduce the
prophylactic antibiotic use in mass
animal breeding • Ecologically neutral soil decontamination, eg oil spills
• 100% biodegradable degreasing
agent for industry and gastronomy • Highly effective, environmentally friendly component of extinguishing foam, for
extinguishing forest fires, water-resistant fires and fuel fires
as well as fireworks.
• biological dirt particle solution (detergent)
So far, the economic mass production of rhamnolipids was not possible.
Although scientific research on rhamnolipids had
progressed in the new millennium, laboratory production methods were not
applicable to the fermentation reactors required for mass production.
After several years of intensive research, a team of biotensidone scientists
has recently achieved a breakthrough and developed a successful and reliable
production method. The amount produced is over 30 g / liter. This
allows production costs equivalent to those of synthetic surfactants.
Another investment by the investor now allows the company
to start building an industrial bioreactor facility in Germany. The
production capacity will already be 200 tons per year in 2017 and
will be expanded to 2,000 tons pa in 2018. In 2019, the production volume
of rhamnolipid products is expected to reach 5,000 tonnes per annum.