Fluorine (F) is the most abundant halogen on Earth, but nature has hardly evolved biochemical reactions involving F. Organic compounds containing F (fluorochemicals) are, however, extremely relevant from an industrial point of view. Fluoropolymers are the main fluorochemicals in the market worldwide, and are exclusively synthesized using chemical methods involving corrosive and toxic reagents which can have a negative impact on the environment. Designing sustainable bioprocesses based on alternative and safer fluorinating agents from renewable substrates is thus a long-sought-after, yet unfulfilled goal. SinFonia proposes to engineer Pseudomonas putida, a versatile and non-pathogenic soil bacterium, to execute biofluorinations. P. putida serves as an ideal microbial platform for F-dependent biochemical reactions due to its extraordinary resistance to harsh and stressful operating conditions. The target compounds are a whole family of fluorinated polyesters with uses as self-cleaning surfaces, low-surface-energy coatings, bio-based lubricants, membranes for fuel cells, and anti-fouling materials. The bacteria engineered during the project can be easily adapted to synthesize other added-value fluorochemicals. Unlike chemical processes, the source of F in our system will be sodium fluoride (NaF), an inexpensive and safe salt, and sugars as the main carbon source. An in-depth analysis of all environmental and economic benefits of the new fluorination technology, partially carried out by ifeu, is an essential component of SinFonia. The project’s concept is illustrated in the following video clip (YouTube, 2:54 Min.):

Sinfonia Youtube


Project start January 2019


EU (Horizon 2020)


Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DK, Koordinator)
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (DE)
Masarykova univerzita (CZ)
University of St. Andrews (UK)
Agencia estatal consejo superior de investigaciones cientificas (ES)
Tartu ulikool (EE)
Université du Luxembourg (LU)
Bioplastech LTD (IE)
Biofaction KG (AT)
Altar (F)
IN S.R.L. (IT)
Chemours Netherlands BV (NL)


SinFonia website