What is YarroWCO?

YarroWCO is a project that blends utility, environmental consciousness, and industry. Instead of discarding oil after making a batch of fries for friends and family, we endeavor instead to sustainably transform waste into wonders.

With the help of yeasts like Yarrowia lipolytica, we use waste cooking oil (WCO) to facilitate the production of steroid precursors – compounds used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce medicinal drugs.
The Problem
Our problem can be dissected into two questions.

Question 1: Oil

What happens when waste oil seeps into bodies of



Accumulation of waste oil in sewers leads to FATBERGS

whose removal comes at a very high cost.

Waste oil can seriously harm
and eventually disrupt entire
The harmful properties of waste oil can leak into the
we consume.

Question 2: Steroids

How are steroidal



Producing corticosteroids from scratch is very DIFFICULT.

are instead used by drug companies to make these corticosteroids.
But the precurors are extracted from
Our Solution

We have taken both aspects of the problem and combined them into a single solution.

By engineering microorganisms to produce bioemulsifiers and later quantifying the increase in yeast growth rate, we provide a solid basis for steroid precursor production from fatty media such as waste oil.

These precursors (such as the compound campesterol) can be purchased and used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce different steroidal drugs, instead of the current unsustainable methods.