Future of Green Surfactants with Novel Materials

The future of green surfactants for personal care and home care products is with novel materials. This is one of the key findings of a new Technical Insights report on green surfactants and emulsifiers.

Green surfactants are now widely used; they include alkypolyglucosides, plant-based saponins, amino acid derivatives, and betaines. However, the future appears to be with materials made from renewable feedstock by new technologies. A recent example of such a material is BASF’s Dehyton AO 45; it is the first 100% Cocoamidopropylbetaine produced by a controlled fermentation process from microalgae oils.

As shown at the Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit, advances in enzyme technology are spurring bio-surfactant production. Bio-fermentation routes for the production of important surfactant building blocks, such as amino acids, organic acids, carbohydrates, ethylene and acetic acid (from bio-ethanol), are expected to become the norm in the future.

Green surfactants from waste biomass and agricultural raw materials are gaining popularity as companies look to move away from petroleum feedstock. More companies are expected to use sustainable sourced materials. For instance, Clariant’s GlucoTain range of sugar-based surfactants is made from RSPO certified palm oil and coconut oils. The four grades of surfactants are marketed as sustainable alternatives to alkypolyglucosides.

Personal care and home care companies are looking at alternatives to synthetic surfactants and emulsifiers because of growing pressure to use sustainable materials. Consumer demand for natural & organic products, as well as growing awareness of the environmental & health impacts of contentious chemicals are driving this change.

The range of green emulsifiers remains comparatively limited. Naturally derived materials, especially nonionics and blends are most commonly used in natural skin care products. Interesting developments in this area involve oleosomes from plant oils. Companies like Botaneco have developed oleosomes that act as delivery systems for active ingredients in personal care formulations.

The range of green materials is expected to widen, however questions remain over price and performance. Research finds few materials are cost-effective compared to conventional emulsifier and surfactant systems. Advances in green surfactants & emulsifiers, as well as their applications, are regularly featured at our events…

Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit
The aim of the Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit is to advance sustainability in the home care industry by debating key issues in a high-level forum. The summit is now hosted in North America and Europe.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
Since 2009, the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit has been covering sustainability issues in the cosmetic & personal care industry. The summit is hosted in North & Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

Posted: September 2nd 2015

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