BoostLab1-1: AMYLSyn - Process intensification of alpha methylene lactone synthesis


Project duration

January 1, 2022 to September 30, 2026

Project partners

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

RWTH Aachen, iAMB (Institute of Applied Microbiology)

Project description

Tulipalin A is a secondary defense metabolite in plants of the Liliaceae and Alstroemeriaceae families. It is liquid, smells only slightly and pleasantly of tulip and thereby an excellent starting monomer for the synthesis of biobased polymers. It has clear advantages over classic fossil acrylate and methacrylate monomers: The vapor pressure is lower, the monomer is less flammable, and the technically extremely important radical polymerization can take place very quickly with unusually low volume shrinkage. The already broad application profile is complemented by high thermal stability and good optical properties, which should allow high added value and innovative product formulations for previously unsolved technical hler challenges.

Tulipalin A therefore offers much more than the desirable substitution of fossil acrylate and methacrylate monomers from an environmental/health and safety point of view, but can furthermore be considered as a key biotechnological compound to achieve innovative product families in the field of SD printing, for high temperature applications and/or optics.

This project aims to lay the foundations for the biotechnological synthesis of tulipalin A. The Institute of Applied Microbiology at RWTH Aachen University, iAMB, will initially focus on the synthesis of isoprenol and isoprenyl acetate, which have been identified as important metabolic intermediates in preliminary scientific work.

The goal is a high intracellular metabolic flux in a robust host system, for example baker's yeast. In parallel, the industrial partner HENKEL will perform important polymerization experiments and application tests with classically chemically produced alpha-methylene lactones to replace classical product formulations and their properties.

Open positions

currently none