Evonik, Unilever team up on first ‘green’ biosurfactant
Evonik has announced the commercial launch of a product using its biosurfactant technology, in the form of Unilever’s Quix brand of hand dishwashing liquid in Chile over the summer. Following this, it has started an engineering project to design a world-scale plant to support wider production by Unilever and other customers.
Quix uses rhamnolipid made using fermentation technology, which Evonik alone offers at an industrial scale. The company said that this offers exceptional foam-forming properties and high-performance cleaning results from a product that is based on natural sugars and 100% biodegradable. Rhamnolipid had been known for some years, but had hitherto been a laboratory curiosity.
“Biosurfactants are a game-changing technology in home care and beyond, and we continue to lead innovation in this field. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to fundamentally transform the way we produce cleaning ingredients,” claimed Dr Hans Henning Wenk, VP of R&D at Evonik Care Solutions.