Microbial strain improvement

Micro-organisms can convert various carbon sources from side and waste streams into valuable chemicals, biopolymers and biofuels. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research optimises conversion into the desired end product by developing specific micro-organisms and cultivation conditions.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research translates client demands into a specific approach. Through research we develop production strains that meet the demands of the client. The various specialists at Food & Biobased Research (with backgrounds in fields such as genomics, genetic modification, microbiology, process technology, pretreatment and product purification) work in flexible, goal-oriented project teams to find practical solutions and obtain intellectual property rights.

Micro-organisms as natural chemical factories

With specifically developed micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi and/or micro-algae we can realise a variety of biosynthetic processes. For example, specific chemicals can be developed in a biosynthetic instead of a chemical way (or extraction from crude oil). We can also convert components from low-cost substrates and side streams into energy sources such as hydrogen.  In collaboration with various industrial parties, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is currently developing micro-algae that use sunlight and CO2 as energy and carbon sources for the production of high-quality oils and biodiesel, among other products.

The ‘biobased’ approach we use in microbial strain improvement and process development is often more environmentally friendly than the petrochemical approach, as we work with solvent-free processes and renewable raw materials. Moreover, microbial production is often cheaper, and sometimes biosynthesis is the only way to create complex compounds or biopolymers. In fact, some applications, such as aromatic substances and flavourings, actually require biosynthetic production.

Realising products

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research can select and improve microbial strains via genetic modification. We also realise process development for an optimal production. These bio-synthetic production methods create added value for our clients.

In collaboration with clients (varying from SMEs to multinationals) Wageningen Food & Biobased Research works on a variety of products in bilateral partnerships or consortiums. Examples of products we realise for our clients include monomers for the polymer industry, fats and oils, biodiesel, bio-hydrogen and other fuels, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and custom protein polymers.