Capacidy: Local Resources For The Chemical Industry
Medium-chain fatty acids are used in numerous FUCHS products: esters on this basis represent good cold and aging properties and impress with their "closeness to nature" - in other words, their use also contributes to cost-effective production. The disadvantage: European, sustainable sources of these special fatty acids are rare. Today, caproic, caprylic and capric acid (the so-called goat oils, from Latin Capra = goat) are mainly obtained from palm kernel oil, which is imported from the tropics. FUCHS, therefore, did not hesitate to participate in the project "Bio-based capric and caprylic acid - production, purification, marketing strategy - CapAcidy" financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which was successfully completed in mid-2019.
The Biogas Innovation Award 2019, endowed with 10,000 euros, was awarded to Maria Braune from the German Biomass Research Centre and Dr. Heike Sträuber from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research for the process they developed to produce medium-chain fatty acids from the fermentation substrate of biogas plants. A real win-win situation: on the one hand, the plant operators receive new customers and can market their products better, and on the other hand, the chemical industry can use regional, renewable raw materials for its production. Now that the project has been completed, FUCHS is testing the application possibilities in the company in its role as an industrial partner, focusing above all on the further development of the technical process, but also on specifying the fatty acids generated.