Sasol Chemicals and UK outfit Holiferm have agreed to produce and market rhamnolipids and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs).
The partnership will use Holiferm’s proprietary technology to develop the fermentation-derived biosurfactants. Sasol and Holiferm will develop and commercialise formulations and applications for the new molecules.
This collaboration expands the partnership announced in March 2022 between the two companies to develop and commercialise another biosurfactant product, sophorolipids.
Biosurfactants use natural materials to produce surfactants, which are key ingredients in detergents, cleaning products and personal care products.
Sophorolipids, rhamnolipids and MELs are all glycolipids made through fermentation, using yeast or bacteria to convert vegetable oils and/or sugars into final product.
The Holiferm process offers an extensive reduction in carbon footprint compared with conventional surfactants.
The companies’ joint aspiration is to prepare for testing at pilot plant scale, before they begin a full manufacturing process at Holiferm’s Wallasey plant.
“The imminent commercial launch of our second and third products validates Holiferm’s process to develop process technologies to produce chemicals from natural raw materials and enable their broad commercialisation,” said Vicky De Groof, Chief Technical Officer of Holiferm. “It is also a testament to the exceptional work of the laboratory team.”
Silke Hoppe, Vice President of Essential Care Chemicals for Sasol Chemicals, added: “By expanding our product portfolio from sophorolipids to include rhamnolipids and MELs, we aim to provide our customers a platform of solutions based solely on biosurfactants.
“Their carbon footprint as well as their mildness and high performance places these products in a leading position in today’s biosurfactant market.”