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BASF and Solazyme Collaboration Launches First Commercial Surfactant

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A renewable microalgae oil and ingredients company, Solazyme, Inc. and BASF partnered in launching a high performance algal betaine—the first commercial surfactant derived from microalgae oil—for use in home and personal care applications. Algal betaine is commercialized by BASF under the trade name Dehyton AO 45.

“Consumer demand for sustainable and innovative surfactants has increased significantly, particularly in the home and personal care markets,” said Josef Koester, director marketing home and personal care, Sustainability Care Chemicals, BASF North America, said in a statement. “Combining BASF’s chemistry expertise with Solazyme’s unique range of renewable microalgae oils allows us to deliver products that meet this demand.”

Amidopropyl Betaines Benefits

Amidopropyl betaines are progressively used in cosmetics, toiletries and home care applications because of the many benefits the amphoteric surfactants have. Amidopropyl betaines advantages include: detergency, foam properties and stabilization, hard water compatibility, mildness to skin and hair, ability to reduce irritation of anionic systems, viscosity building, conditioning effect, stability at a broad range of pH and biodegradability.

As a high-performance alternative to amidopropyl betaine, the new algal betaine can be utilized in products requiring rich and gentle foam such as cleansing liquids, soaps and other applications.

Oil Production

Dehyton AO 45 is produced with Solazyme’s AlgaPūr microalgae oils, which are produced within some days, utilizing modern technology. AlgaPūr oils are produced with a highly controlled fermentation process, converting sugarcane into oils with high purity and efficiency and low carbon, water and land use impact.

“We are excited to partner with BASF to launch the world’s first commercial microalgae-derived betaine surfactant.” said Robert Webber, chief commercialization officer, Solazyme, in the statement. “BASF’s broad capabilities in chemical conversion of triglyceride oils and deep expertise in surfactants enable significant growth opportunities in the future.”