Novel enzyme tools for production of functional oleochemicals from unsaturated lipids
Acronym: ERA-NOEL

Project coordinator
- Prof. Johanna Buchert – VTT Technical Research Centre - Finland

Project leaders
- Dr. Leo de Graaff – Wageningen University – The Netherlands
- Dr. Ulrich Fehrenbacher – Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung
    der angewandten Forschung e.V. – Germany
- Prof. Armando Silvestre – University of Aveiro – Portugal
- Dr. Jacob Nielsen – University of Aarhus - Denmark
- Dr. Kim Langfelder – AB Enzymes GmbH – Germany

The objective of the project is to develop enzyme-aided technologies for the upgrading of low cost unsaturated fatty acids to functional oleochemicals to be used as coatings, adhesives, lubricants, plasticizers and natural plastics. A multidisciplinary approach is taken in the project by combining biotechnical expertise to chemical engineering and polymer technology. In addition, new advanced analytical methodologies will be implemented in the project for analyzing the characteristics of the chemicals produced.

The specific objectives of the project are to discover and produce novel enzymes being able to modify unsaturated fatty acids to reactive intermediates and to further convert these enzymatically obtained intermediates to oleochemicals. Finally the technical and economical feasibility of the developed oleochemical processes and products will be evaluated. The development of new, modern, environmentally friendly technologies to utilize abundant sources of lipids in novel product applications has very high business potential. The project will significantly enlarge the raw material base of the European oleochemical industry.