Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

HANNOVER MESSE 2012: Environmentally-friendly cleaning and washing

01.03.2012
More and more everyday products are based on renewable resources, with household cleaners now containing active cleaning substances (surfactants) made from plant oils and sugar. These fat and dirt removers are especially environmentally friendly and effective when produced using biotechnology, with the aid of fungi and bacteria.

Detergents are everywhere – in washing powders, dishwashing liquids, household cleaners, skin creams, shower gels, and shampoos. It is the detergent that loosens dirt and fat, makes hair-washing products foam up and allows creams to be absorbed quickly. Up until now, most detergents are manufactured from crude oil – a fossil fuel of which there is only a limited supply.

In their search for alternatives, producers are turning increasingly to detergents made from sustainable resources, albeit that these surfactants are usually chemically produced. The problem is that the substances produced via such chemical processes are only suitable for a small number of applications, since they display only limited structural diversity – which is to say that their molecular structure is not very complex.

Now researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB are taking a different approach: they are manufacturing surfactants using biotechnological methods, with the assistance of fungi and bacteria. “We produce biosurfactants microbially, based on sustainable resources such as sugar and plant oil,” says Suzanne Zibek, a technical biologist and engineer at the IGB in Stuttgart. The scientist and her team use cellobiose lipids (CL) and mannosylerythritol lipids (MEL) because testing has shown these to be promising for industrial application. They are produced in large quantities by certain types of smut fungus, of the kind that can affect corn plants. What is more, CL also has antibacterial properties.

What marks biological surfactants out from their synthetic competitors is their increased structural diversity. In addition, they are biodegradable, are less toxic and are just as good at loosening fats. But despite all this, to date they are used in only a few household products and cosmetics. The reason is that they are costly and difficult to produce, with low yields. One substance that has been successfully brought to market is the sophorose lipid made by Candida bombicola, which is used by a number of manufacturers as an additive in household cleaning products. This biosurfactant is produced by a yeast that is harvested from bumble-bee nectar.

“If we want natural surfactants to conquer the mass market, we need to increase fermentation yields,” says Zibek. To this end, the scientists are optimizing the production process in order to bring down manufacturing costs. They cultivate the microorganisms in a bioreactor, where they grow in a continuously stirred culture medium containing sugar, oil, vitamins and minerals salts. The goal is to achieve high concentrations in as short a time as possible, so they need to encourage as many microorganisms as possible to grow. There are numerous factors with a bearing on the outcome, including the oxygen supply, the pH value, the condition of the cells, and the temperature. The composition of the culture medium itself is also crucial. It is not just a question of how much sugar and oil go into the mix, but also the speed at which they are added. “We have already achieved concentrations of 16 grams per liter for CL and as high as 100 grams per liter for MEL – with a high production rate, too,” the group manager is happy to report.

The next step is to separate the biosurfactants from the fermentation medium and to characterize them with the help of industrial partners, determining which surfactants are suitable for use in dishwashing liquids, which are more suited to oven cleaning products, and which are ideal for use in cosmetics. The substances can finally be modified or improved at the enzymatic level. “For instance, we managed to increase wa-ter solubility. After all, the biosurfactant shouldn’t form an oily film over the surface of the dishwashing liquid,” explains Zibek. The experts have even managed to produce biological surfactants using waste products, by obtaining the sugar needed for the culture medium from straw. The researchers will be presenting biosurfactants they have produced themselves at HANNOVER MESSE from April 23 to 27, 2012 (Hall 2, Booth D22).

Susanne Zibek | Fraunhofer Research News
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/march/environmentally-friendly-cleaning-and-washing.html

More articles from HANNOVER MESSE:

nachricht Measurement of components in 3D under water
01.04.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik IOF

nachricht Artificial hand able to respond sensitively thanks to muscles made from smart metal wires
24.03.2015 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from HANNOVER MESSE >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Transparente Beschichtung für Alltagsanwendungen

Sport- und Outdoorbekleidung, die Wasser und Schmutz abweist, oder Windschutzscheiben, an denen kein Wasser kondensiert – viele alltägliche Produkte können von stark wasserabweisenden Beschichtungen profitieren. Am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) haben Forscher um Dr. Bastian E. Rapp einen Werkstoff für solche Beschichtungen entwickelt, der sowohl transparent als auch abriebfest ist: „Fluoropor“, einen fluorierten Polymerschaum mit durchgehender Nano-/Mikrostruktur. Sie stellen ihn in Nature Scientific Reports vor. (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15287-8)

In der Natur ist das Phänomen vor allem bei Lotuspflanzen bekannt: Wassertropfen perlen von der Blattoberfläche einfach ab. Diesen Lotuseffekt ahmen...

Im Focus: Ultrakalte chemische Prozesse: Physikern gelingt beispiellose Vermessung auf Quantenniveau

Wissenschaftler um den Ulmer Physikprofessor Johannes Hecker Denschlag haben chemische Prozesse mit einer beispiellosen Auflösung auf Quantenniveau vermessen. Bei ihrer wissenschaftlichen Arbeit kombinierten die Forscher Theorie und Experiment und können so erstmals die Produktzustandsverteilung über alle Quantenzustände hinweg - unmittelbar nach der Molekülbildung - nachvollziehen. Die Forscher haben ihre Erkenntnisse in der renommierten Fachzeitschrift "Science" publiziert. Durch die Ergebnisse wird ein tieferes Verständnis zunehmend komplexer chemischer Reaktionen möglich, das zukünftig genutzt werden kann, um Reaktionsprozesse auf Quantenniveau zu steuern.

Einer deutsch-amerikanischen Forschergruppe ist es gelungen, chemische Prozesse mit einer nie dagewesenen Auflösung auf Quantenniveau zu vermessen. Dadurch...

Im Focus: Leoniden 2017: Sternschnuppen im Anflug?

Gemeinsame Pressemitteilung der Vereinigung der Sternfreunde und des Hauses der Astronomie in Heidelberg

Die Sternschnuppen der Leoniden sind in diesem Jahr gut zu beobachten, da kein Mondlicht stört. Experten sagen für die Nächte vom 16. auf den 17. und vom 17....

Im Focus: «Kosmische Schlange» lässt die Struktur von fernen Galaxien erkennen

Die Entstehung von Sternen in fernen Galaxien ist noch weitgehend unerforscht. Astronomen der Universität Genf konnten nun erstmals ein sechs Milliarden Lichtjahre entferntes Sternensystem genauer beobachten – und damit frühere Simulationen der Universität Zürich stützen. Ein spezieller Effekt ermöglicht mehrfach reflektierte Bilder, die sich wie eine Schlange durch den Kosmos ziehen.

Heute wissen Astronomen ziemlich genau, wie sich Sterne in der jüngsten kosmischen Vergangenheit gebildet haben. Aber gelten diese Gesetzmässigkeiten auch für...

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

VDI-Expertenforum „Gefährdungsanalyse Trinkwasser"

20.11.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Technologievorsprung durch Textiltechnik

17.11.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Roboter für ein gesundes Altern: „European Robotics Week 2017“ an der Frankfurt UAS

17.11.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Spin-Strom aus Wärme: Neues Material für höhere Effizienz

20.11.2017 | Physik Astronomie

Satellitenbilder zur Erfassung von Biodiversität nur bedingt tauglich

20.11.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Fall aus dem Datenrettungslabor – USB Sticks mit fehlerhaften Angaben

20.11.2017 | Unternehmensmeldung