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Clariant and Global Bioenergies unveil new bio-based cosmetics polymer

Switzerland-headed speciality chemical major Clariant and France-headed industrial biotechnology process developer Global Bioenergies, have announced the development of a new bio-based polymer for cosmetic creams and lotions derived from renewable isobutene.

Fermentation unit of Global Bioenergies Leuna biomass-to-isobutene demo plant (photo Gunter Binsack).

Fermentation unit of Global Bioenergies Leuna biomass-to-isobutene demo plant in Germany (photo Gunter Binsack).

Developed with Global Bioenergies’ sugar-based isobutene, Clariant’s new ingredient is a “rheology modifier” that influences formulation viscosity and achieves specific “sensorial and texturizing” properties for creams and lotions. It contains more than 50 percent renewable carbon and consequently meets the ISO 16128:2016 standard for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and products.

According to the companies, the bio-based polymer is a breakthrough for the industry as it is proven not to change the properties of an application, offering formulators a direct 1:1 alternative to petroleum-based equivalents.

Supporting our customers in the Personal Care industry with sustainable, bio-based ingredients is a key priority for Clariant. The demand for ingredients based on renewable resources is here to stay and will become the norm among brands in the very near future. With our new polymer, we are delighted to expand currently limited opportunities for formulators looking to improve the sustainability of their formulations, letting them make an immediate switch without compromising application properties or performance, said Ralf Zerrer, Head of Strategic Marketing and Innovation at Clariant.

The building block of Clariant’s new cosmetics ingredient is currently produced on a small scale at Global Bioenergies’ demo plant located in Leuna, Germany. The companies are working on upscaling production with larger volumes.

Renewable isobutene is a widely used building block for cosmetic applications and we are excited by the opportunities it presents for new bio-based ingredients to address the needs of niche markets. Our relationship with Clariant is strengthening, and we expect to continue building our network of partners as we prepare for larger capacities, said Marc Delcourt, CEO of Global Bioenergies.

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