Lactic acid and biosurfactants sourced from sustainable agricultural and industrial (food) WASTE feedstocks as novel FUNCtional ingredients for consumer products

The WASTE2FUNC project aims to resolve supply chain hurdles towards the efficient conversion of food (crop) waste into two types of biobased functional molecules for use in home- and personal care applications: lactic acid and microbial biosurfactants, functionally outperforming or equalling their respective fossil-based and/or 1G bio-based benchmarks.

A new and sustainable biomass waste supply chain will be set up, in close interaction with the primary sector, by developing an ‘ad hoc’ registration- and collection system for erratic agricultural biomass waste and integrating this new biomass supply chain with an existing industrially available and continuous food waste stream, currently converted into biogas. This integration is crucial to build viable business cases associated with the WASTE2FUNC supply- and -value chains.

The integration of the WASTE2FUNC biomass supply chain with new value chains based on the cost- and eco- efficient conversion of the waste biomass into market ready functional molecules for home- and personal care applications will be demonstrated.

The value chains will be set up by (interaction with) all relevant key stakeholders: farmers and their representatives, primary crop-/food processors, food processors and -retailers, food waste collectors, technology owners for bio-based process, scale up facilities, product developers and -retailers in the respective sectors of application (home- and personal care) (B2B and B2C), regulators and last but not least the consumer. This interaction will be key to define benefits required for the farmers, regulatory- and processing hurdles, product developer- and consumer requirements and -constraints.
Together with environmental, economic, social and regulatory analyses and constant optimization, performed by the WASTE2FUNC project partners, this will decrease CO2 emissions with at least 20% and increase value from waste with 2-10 fold and create (high tech) jobs for the primary- and downstream sector in Belgium and Europe.

ACTIVITIES of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • Project management and coordination
  • Communication and disseminationOrganisation of stakeholder focus group workshops
  • Scale-up and demonstration of food waste pretreatment
  • Scale op and demonstration of fermentation of food waste to lactic acid and biosurfactants
  • Scale up and demonstration of purification of lactic acid and biosurfactants


This project has received funding from the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101023664. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio-based Industries Consortium.