Shampoo, New and Improved! BASF and Solazyme Launch the First Commercial Microalgae-Derived Betaine Surfactant

July 29, 2015 |

In California, BASF and Solazyme have launched of the first commercial surfactant derived from microalgae oil, a high performance algal betaine for use in home and personal care applications.

Generally speaking, surfactants, which are the “lifting agents,” if you will, that power the work of detergents and shampoos, are made from C12 to C14 medium chain fatty acids, not an area that most algae strains have been naturally evolved to excel in. So it was newsy some time back when Solazyme tipped its development of its Lauric Family, which includes oils with a first-in-kind composition of fatty acid chain lengths that are differentiated from palm kernel and coconut oils by accentuating specific targeted fatty acids between C10 and C14, all while retaining the structuring characteristics of those oils. 

The focus here though is a good solid foam and a mildness to skin and hair — in other words, its all in targeted performance, which makes this invention one to watch.

Commercialized by BASF under the trade name Dehyton AO 45, algal betaine is a betaine surfactant, a high-performance alternative to amidopropyl betaine in products that require rich and gentle foam such as shampoos, liquid soaps, hand dishwashing liquids, and other applications. Amidopropyl betaines are amphoteric surfactants increasingly used in cosmetic, toiletry and home care applications due to their vast benefits and are known to have: good detergency, good foam properties and foam 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 excellent biodegradability.

Dehyton AO 45 is produced with Solazyme AlgaPūr Microalgae Oils. AlgaPūr Oils are produced with Solazyme’s state-of-the-art technology in a matter of days, using a highly controlled fermentation process to convert sugarcane into oils of the highest purity and performance. AlgaPūr Microalgae Oils are produced with low carbon, water and land use impact.

“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. “Combining BASF’s chemistry expertise with Solazyme’s unique range of renewable microalgae oils allows us to deliver products that meet this demand.”

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