Backgrounds and Objectives


Long-chain dicarboxylic acids (lcDCA), have a wide range of applications as raw materials for the synthesis of polymers (polyesters). For instance, dodecanedioic acid (DCA-12) is used to make aliphatic polyesters in a large scale. Furthermore, they are used in fibers, films, casting resins, plasticizers, synthetic lubricants, and adhesives.

This brought the WaysTUP! team in Prague (Czech Republic) together with the Terni (Italy) team, to collaborate and optimize the process of lcDCA production through fermentation starting from the selected low impact sources of sugars and used-cooking oils and based on an enhanced microorganism with low biological risk (BSL1) and improved performance. Bio-safety level classifications (BSL) are used for differentiating the measures needed in a laboratory set for protecting adequately the workers in it. The BSL-1 (there are four) is the lowest classification in the risk-rank of bio-safety levels in a laboratory. A brief definition would be: the study or treatment of microbiological agents or toxins not known to consistently provoke disease in healthy adults.



WaysTUP!’s Czech partner NAFIGATE CORPORATION, AS (NFG) shall provide the feedstock for this endeavor collecting used cooking oil (UCO) from restaurants and canteens (NFG) with the purpose of, in conjunction with coffee oils from London’s BIO-BEAN partner, converting UCO for PHA production which will be then converted to bio-plastics for packaging.

Moreover, Novamont (NVMT) will proceed with the fermentation process in batch mode in Piana Di Monte Verna Plant (Italy) by employing a genetically modified microorganism (Candida strain, bio-safety level 1) able to convert fatty acids into lcDCA by NVMT. Then using lcDCA bio-plastics, production will be implemented. The obtained lcDCA will be used in the formulation of biodegradable and compostable polyesters using firstly NVMT PILOT facilities in Novara.


  • WaysTUP! shall test and evaluate other possibilities of feedstock from used cooking oils as well as coffee oil.
  • The team will create and test new analytical methods and models for the management of production processes in order to achieve a yield of 0.8 g/g oil and a PHA cost lower than 2.5 €/kg at the industrial level.
  • Within the project, NVMN will demonstrate that in a relevant industrial environment the formulation of bio-based and biodegradable polyesters based on long-chain dicarboxylic acids with enhanced properties is satisfactory, compared to already produced bio-polyesters.


Prague & Terni
Czech Rep. – Italy







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