Breakthrough in mass production of rhamnolipids

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 
(meat production)

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 
will gradually 
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.

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