Innovation That Matters

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Sustainable ingredients for everyday consumer products


A new bio-based surfactant is more sustainable without sacrificing on quality

Spotted: A surfactant is a chemical compound that decreases the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a gas (like air). They essentially allow oil and water to mix and are used in almost every industrial process – from the detergents used to clean clothes, to pharmaceuticals, the manufacture of food products, and oil drilling.

Most surfactants, however, are derived from either fossil fuels or from palm oil. As manufacturers move towards net zero, many industries will need to switch to sustainable surfactants. Danish startup NorFalk is working to develop sustainable surfactants that are free from palm oil and are not derived from fossil fuel sources.

NorFalk points out that, in addition to using more sustainable materials, its surfactants are manufactured at low temperatures and ambient pressure – reducing the CO2 emissions of the manufacturing process. What is more, the startup explains that the emissions reductions offered by its surfactants come without a reduction in the quality of the end product – and at the same price as other premium bio-based surfactants currently on the market.

NorFalk’s customers are large manufacturers of personal and household care products such as soaps and cosmetics. However, the company stresses that its customers are anyone who wants to reduce CO2 emissions, and doesn’t want to contribute to deforestation and the subsequent destruction of biodiversity.

Surfactants are not the only component of personal care products that are becoming more sustainable. As consumers continually demand more eco-friendly products, Springwise has spotted a range of innovations in this space. These include an organic create-your-own soap brand, and a water-free vegan laundry detergent.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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