¿What are surfactants?

Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. They may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, or dispersants and are extensively used in beverages, food, pharma, agrochemical industry, and as enhancers for oil recovery, among many applications.

¿Why surfactants?

The worldwide market for surfactants is expected to be worth 100 billion USD by 2030. However, 70% of the surfactants produced worldwide are petroleum-derived, making their production unsustainable. Furthermore, many of these surfactants are non-biodegradable, their degradation products are toxic, or pollute aquatic reservoirs and affect ecosystems where they are disposed of. Because of this, greener, sustainable and cost-effective alternatives are needed.

We aim to develop and produce biodegradable, non-toxic and tailored made surfactants for different markets.

¿How can we do it?

A high number of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, sugars and peptides can be obtained from waste and subproducts from regional industries such as dairy, agro and meat industries. Through enzymatic reactions, these biomolecules can be combined to obtain a large number of surfactants with different properties. Additionally, we’ve got the expertise to produce biologically synthesized surfactants from microbes. These products can be strategically targeted towards environmental and agricultural applications, due to their synergistic in-situ activity, which is especially beneficial for uses in remediation and plant-growth promotion.  

Our strengths:

  • Our region has an abundant source of building blocks to build target molecules and use as fermentation substrates.

  • We have expertise in enzyme engineering and manufacturing

  • We have expertise in surfactant chemistry

  • We have expertise in bacterial fermentation

Our team:

  • Bertoni Fernando 
  • Benedetti Gonzalo
  • Martini Georgina
  • Haidar Carla Nahir
  • Nerli Bibiana
  • Pellegrini Malpiedi Luciana
  • Menzella Hugo