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Enzymatic production of a novel class of nonionic, mild and biobased surfactants

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENBIOSURF (Enzymatic production of a novel class of nonionic, mild and biobased surfactants)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2015-10-31

The objective of the overall innovation project is to commercialize and bring to market Enza Biotech’s oligomeric alkyl glycosides, OLMAGs, a novel green surfactant. technically superior to many of the commercially available green surfactants. The specific main objective of this feasibility study was to identify the bottle-necks for achieving a cost-efficient and scalable production process for the OLMAGs and perform a techno-economic calculation to identify the most important factors to improve for cost-efficiency. Moreover, enhanced marketing and closer discussions with potential customers were planned.
During the first half of the feasibility study, the conversion process was made more cost-efficient. A new improved downstream processing method was developed during the second half. During the project a number of marketing activities were performed, including visiting different trade shows and conferences. Moreover, a broadened marketing to customers and intensified discussions with customers has led to a better understanding of the customer needs for product profile and application areas and preferred business model.
Enza Biotech has at the end of the project achieved all the main goals of the feasibility study, and successfully managed to reduce the cost of the process. The techo-economical calculations have identified the most important parameters to address to decrease the process cost. Customer requirements for purity was found out and an improved purification method was developed. Altogether, a scalable and cost-efficient model of the production process of OLMAGs has been established and the further scaling up to achieve a prototype of the production system including conversion and downstream processing steps is planned for. Enhanced contacts with potential customers and end-customers have led to a better understanding of the customer needs for product profile and application areas and preferred business model. An updated business plan has been elaborated including an updated market plan and updated business model.
The successful outcome of the feasibility study forms a solid base for a continued plan for prototyping and up-scaling to pilot-scale and subsequent introduction of the OLMAGs on the market. The cosmetics and personal care industry will benefit from having access to a novel green ingredient, leading to the production of a wider range of green and sustainable products and less dependence on fossil resources.
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