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Comment Sustainability

Sasol Chemicals and Holiferm enter partnership to develop new biosurfactants

By Mary Page Bailey |

Sasol Chemicals, a business unit of Sasol Ltd. (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Holiferm Limited announced a partnership to jointly develop new biosurfactants and enable the broad commercialization of sophorolipids.

Sasol Chemicals has agreed to purchase the majority of sophorolipids produced at a new Holiferm manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom, which is under construction and scheduled to begin operations in early 2023. Sasol Chemicals will also fund Holiferm research and development to accelerate innovation initiatives to help meet growing demand for sustainable solutions in primary surfactants.

Biosurfactants use natural materials to produce surfactants, which are key ingredients in detergents, cleaning products and personal care products. Sophorolipids are biosurfactants made through fermentation, using yeast to convert vegetable oils and glucose into final product. The Holiferm process offers an extensive reduction in carbon footprint comparative to conventional surfactants.

“We are increasingly using bio-based raw materials to make our products, as we work with our customers to develop solutions that in turn make their products more sustainable,” said Silke Hoppe, Vice President of Essential Care Chemicals for Sasol Chemicals. “The Holiferm expertise in the area of fermentation technology and production is a perfect fit with Sasol’s position as a global leader in the supply of surfactants and surfactant intermediates into the Fabric and Home Care, Personal Care as well as Industrial and Institutional Cleaning markets.”

Essential Care Chemicals is a global customer-focused business division dedicated to innovating sustainable solutions for people and the planet. Using in-depth knowledge of different markets, applications and products, it creates advanced high-performance solutions in the following core markets: Fabric Home Care, Industrial and Institutional Cleaning, Personal Care, Health and Wellness, and Technical Markets including Energy.

“We at Holiferm truly believe in the future of biosurfactants and fermentation technologies to reduce the dependence on fossil-based chemicals,” said Richard Lock, Managing Director of Holiferm. “The drive, passion and commitment Sasol Chemicals is showing with Holiferm Limited are a perfect fit, for both companies and the planet as a whole.”

Financial terms of the agreements between Sasol Chemicals and Holiferm Limited were not disclosed.

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