Valorisation of LIPid waste by Thermophilic Yeasts for the production of long chain Dicarboxylic Acids (LIPTYDA)

01 January 2022 → 31 December 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Lipids
    • Mycology
    • Molecular and cell biology not elsewhere classified
    • Systems biology not elsewhere classified
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biocatalysis
Thermophilic yeast grease trap waste long-chain dicarboxylic acids
Project description

In LIPTYDA we will create sustainable long-chain dicarboxylic acids (LCDAs) starting from lipid waste. These  

LCDAs are of great interest to several Flemish companies as they target different applications like high grade polymers, plasticizers and lubricants. Current dicarboxylic acid production largely relies on fossil based inputs and chemical processes, and is moreover limited to medium-chain products. In LIPTYDA we will focus on the novel long-chain dicarboxylic acids and develop a bio-based value chain to accomplish this. We aim to valorise a largely overlooked lipid waste stream: grease trap waste (GTW); abundantly available in the food processing industry where it is collected during water treatment. GTW re-use is marginal as it is contaminated with food solids, and it is consequently mainly incinerated or deposited at landfills. Nevertheless, we see huge potential for GTW in biological fermentation processes: various LCDA producing yeast species thrive on lipids. First, we will thoroughly characterize the GTW and based on the outcome develop a suitable pretreatment. Next, we will apply advanced screening and synthetic biology approaches to obtain a yeast strain able to grow at high temperatures. Indeed, this is required to have GTW in the liquid state and guaranty good conversion to LCDAs. Finally, as we work with unusual temperatures and novel strains and feedstock, we will develop a new fermentation process using advanced reactor and cultivation technology