Breakthrough in Rhamnolipid Mass Production 

Breakthrough in Rhamnolipid Mass Production – Supra Molecular Complex improves  
health & environment  characteristics of cosmetics, pharmaceutical and agricultural products

• Industry first: Biotensidone with reliable technology for sustainable 
feasible mass production 
• Double-digit million Euros investment achieves build-up of production 
capacity for 5,000 tons annual output 
• Non-GMO supra molecular complex replaces chemical surfactants and 
boosts active substances in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products 
• Biotech achievement to reduce toxic fertilizers in agriculture and 
prophylactic use of antibiotics in animal breeding (meat production)

Karlsruhe (Germany) / Zug (Switzerland), December 12, 2016 – As an industry first, 
German biotech company Biotensidon GmbH has developed the capability for cost-effective 
mass production of rhamnolipids, which is instrumental in improving the 
health and eco characteristics of many products in several industry sectors. Due to 
their positive properties, they want to gradually replace synthetic surfactants with less 
positive side effects. Following Biotensidon’s technological achievement, the 
company was awarded second place in Germany’s prestigious Next 
Economy Award (Nature) last month. Moreover, Biotensidon’s investor has injected a double-digit million euros 
tranche into the start-up. The capital influx wants to be used to
build up production capacity for an annual output of 5,000 tons of a new rhamnolipidsupra 
molecular complex. This amount suffices to produce very large quantities of 
antibiotics-free animal feed, environment-friendly fertilizers, detergents, de-greasing 
products and fire-extinguishing foams, as well as health- and eco-friendly cosmetics 
and pharmaceutical products.

Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants generated from non-pathogenic microorganisms 
through fermentation. Due to their excellent characteristics, rhamnolipids are the 
most effective eco-friendly and healthcare-positive biological agents, outperforming 
yeast-based biosurfactants. In other words, they are a key element of efforts to green several 
industry sectors. Moreover, rhamnolipids-based biosurfactants will ultimately 
help reduce the use of oil from palm trees, the mass cultivation of which poses a 
major problem for conserving tropical rainforests.

In combination with pyoverdines and alginates, Biotensidon’s rhamnolipids form one 
of the most effective and health- and environment-positive supramolecular 
complexes in the world (product name Rhapynal). Rhapynal is multifunctional and 
can be used for many purposes:

• Biological emulsifier and booster in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, 
Significantly reducing the required amount of active substances 
• Natural (non GMO) seed coating in crop-cultivation, for yield-increase and to 
Significantly reduce the need for ecologically difficult fertilizers; biodegraded after 
a few days, without residues 
• Biological antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal nutrition-additive for animal breeding, 
limiting or Eliminating prophylactic use of synthetic antibiotics 
• Ecologically neutral soil decontamination, in Particular with oil spills. 
• Fully biodegradable de-greasing product for industry and gastronomy 
• Effective biological additive for foams used to extinguish wild fires, fuel fires,
water-resistant fires and fireworks.

Until now, mass production of rhamnolipids has not been feasible. 
Scientific research on rhamnolipids has advanced in the new millennium but the 
production methods used in laboratories are not applicable to the fermenters required 
for mass production. Following several years of research, a team of biosensors 
has recently developed a successful and reliable processing method. 
Output is now above 30 g / liter, which makes production as cost-effective as with 
synthetic surfactants.

to commence construction of a full-scale bioreactor site. Production capacity 
starts at 200 tons annually, advancing to 2,000 tons in 2018, to reach 5,000 tons 
of rhamnolipid products by 2019.

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