Introduction waste2func

The project ‘Lactic acid and biosurfactants sourced from sustainable agricultural and industrial (food) WASTE feedstocks as novel FUNCtional ingredients for consumer products’ with acronym WASTE2FUNC 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 equaling 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.


WASTE2FUNC will run from June 2021 until November 2024.


  • Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant VZW, Belgium (Coordinator)
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Triple W LTD, Israel
  • City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Ecover Coordination Center, Belgium
  • Croda Europe LTD, United Kingdom
  • Evonik Operations GMBH, Germany
  • Organic Waste Systems NV, Belgium
  • Arche, Belgium
  • NNFCC Limited, United Kingdom
  • Innovatiesteunpunt voor Landbouw en Platteland, Belgium
  • Biogas Solutions, Belgium

Role of Ghent University

In WASTE2FUNC, UGent, and more specifically the Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (, will use its expertise in the engineering of Starmerella bombicola to enhance biosurfactant process efficiencies through strain engineering.



Prof. Wim Soetaert
Centre for Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis (, Department Biotechnology
Phone number: + 32 9 264 60 83