Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Vegetable oils and fats represent a promising feedstock for the production of added value products. They can be used as a substrate for biopolymers, both for replacing their petrochemical counterpart, but also to deliver improved or completely new functionalities, opening up the possibility of new applications and markets. In addition, fatty acids derived from vegetable oils are used in high demanding applications such as cosmetics and nutraceuticals. However, the challenge is posed by the high temperature conversions processes currently used which cause the presence of undesired impurities - that can only be removed by costly purification steps, and which affect the cold stability of products. Also the lack of high efficiency purification and separation processes enabling an integral recovery of products is hinders the cost-efficiency and sustainability of the whole value chain.

  • Demonstration of at least 3 new fatty acids and oil based products.
  • Demonstrate new processes along the whole value chain with the following advantages with respect to existing ones:
    • Cost reduction and increased process efficiency for the products in the range of 50%.
    • Reduction of more than 50% in energy consumption.
    • Reduction of 15% in water consumption.
    • Reduction of unwanted by-products or pollutants in intermediates to a fraction below 5% in weight.


Demonstration of techno-economically viable processes for the conversion of vegetable oils and fats in a cascading approach into one or more of the following products segments:

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  • Chemical building blocks using olefin chemistry for the production of tailor made biopolymers for applications such as surfactants, detergents, cosmetics, paints, lubricants, resins and high-value plastics;
  • High purity intermediates and end products, used in high demanding applications such as cosmetics and nutraceuticals with improved nutritional properties, through the use of innovative and reproducible conversion technologies (e.g. biotechnological or thermal) coupled with high efficiency separation and purification steps.
  • Proposals should include activities to ensure economical and sustainable access to optimal raw material sufficient to set up the new value chain. Proposals should aim to maximise the yield and purity of the developed chemical building blocks, intermediates and end-products. Safety, quality and purity of the developed products should be verified and validated. Proposal will assess products demand and will consider market pull related activities (e.g. standardisation, consumers’ perception) aimed at facilitating the market uptake of the developed products. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed products, including land use. Proposals are expected to target suitable scale for demonstration and to show a credible path for the subsequent scale up into a first of its kind commercial process. Proposals should seek synergies with existing EU funded projects on oil crops. The leading role of relevant industrial partners is considered essential to achieve the full impact.

    It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

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