Amyris expands global footprint for surfactants

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Surfactant Regulation Ecological footprint Amyris

Specialty chemicals provider Amyris has established a colloboration with Wilmar International to help it to expand into the global market for surfactants.

The collaboration will focus on the development and manufacture of surfactants derived from Amyris Biofene in Asia, although the exact location has not yet been established.

The project aims to establish a family of surfactants for use in a variety of personal care products, together with other consumer prodcuts and industrial applications.

Move is in response to restrictions on surfactant regulation

California-based Amyris, which is already a leading playing in the surfactants business, says it wants to expand its surfactants business in relation to growing restrictions from regulatory agencies worldwide regarding the regulation of specific types of surfactants.

The project aims to develop and manufacture surfactants that can replace nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants (NPEs), which the companies say are being phased out or severely restricted following initiatives from several leading regulatory agencies worldwide.

Although the market for NPEs is currenty valued at over $1bn (Euros 700m), concerns over both health and environmental issues are expected to have a major impact on the future of this category of surfactants.

Feasibilty, testing and regulation

The two companies say that the next stage of the iniative will be to perform a feasibility study that will outline the technical development of the surfactants, testing activities to validate the products and ensure that the regulation approval will be met.

Upon successful completion of the feasibilty study, the next stage will be to commence manufacturing of the new surfactant family, which will be market by Wilmar through its established distribution channels.

"Wilmar is the leading agribusiness group in Asia,'​ said John Melo, Amyris CEO. "Its integrated business model, rapid growth mode and Asian presence and distribution footprint combined with our breakthrough technology will provide a powerful platform for capturing a portion of the large global surfactants market.”

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