Evonik manufactures first product from rhamnolipid biosurfactant plant

Evonik manufactures first product from rhamnolipid biosurfactant plant

Meets high demand for biobased, biodegradable rhamnolipids for cleaning and personal care applications

  • By ICN Bureau | January 22, 2024

Evonik has manufactured the first product from its industrial-scale facility for sustainable biosurfactants that has been completed ahead of schedule at its site in Slovakia. The new plant is the first worldwide to produce sustainable rhamnolipid biosurfactants. Evonik’s rhamnolipids are exceptionally high quality and provide the company with a unique market position due to the IP-protected, fermentation-based manufacturing process.

Rhamnolipids and other sustainable biosurfactants in Evonik’s portfolio draw on the company’s biotechnology platform in its life sciences division, Nutrition & Care. Driven by sustainability, the division is using innovative biosolutions to address the challenges of biocircular care through closed-loop carbon systems, while maintaining high functionality and preserving biodiversity.

"Our high-performance rhamnolipids are setting a precedent, not only at Evonik, but as part of a broader sustainable chemicals revolution. We are excited to be leading the way with our biosolutions,” said Johann-Caspar Gammelin, president of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division.

"Completing this plant ahead of schedule is a milestone for our business and a testament to our technical expertise, but most importantly, it enables our customers to bring more sustainable cleaning and personal care products to market faster,” said Yann d'Hervé, head of Evonik's Care Solutions business line.

Rhamnolipids are a class of biosurfactants that are sustainably manufactured via a fermentation process using European corn sugar as the main raw material. This biogenic, carbon-based process does not require petrochemical feedstocks or tropical oils.

Rhamnolipids are fully biodegradable and offer a sustainable alternative to conventional surfactants due to their biobased raw materials, and low toxicological and ecotoxicological profile.

Evonik Fermas, located in Slovenská Ľupča in Slovakia, was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Degussa AG and Biotika a.s.

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