Unilever successfully launched the product under its “Quix” brand in Chile this summer, the first time it has been used in a household cleaning product anywhere in the world. Evonik’s rhamnolipids—a type of biosurfactants made via fermentation—provide Unilever with exceptional foam-forming properties and high-performance cleaning results—but with the environmental benefits of being fully based on natural sugars and 100% biodegradable.
Evonik’s manufacturing capabilities on a commercial scale differentiate it from the market, making the specialty chemicals company well positioned to capture future growth in the biosurfactant market. Following Veramaris, a joint venture of DSM and Evonik producing an algal oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids that helps conserve the natural biodiversity of our oceans, biosurfactants are a game changer in Evonik’s innovation portfolio.
Sustainability and High Performance
“For us sustainability is the key driver for our portfolio, and Unilever has been an ideal partner due to its strong commitment to sustainable innovation,” explained Dr. Tammo Boinowitz, SVP of Evonik’s Care Solutions Business Line.
Following the launch, Evonik started the engineering project to design a world scale plant to support further scaling of this innovation globally by Unilever, and to fulfil the growing demand for sustainable and high performing surfactants. Dr. Hans Henning Wenk, VP R&D Care Solutions, added, “Biosurfactants are a game changing technology in home care and beyond, and we continue to lead innovation in this field. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to fundamentally transform the way we produce cleaning ingredients.”
Peter ter Kulve, president of Unilever's Home Care business said, “Our R&D team has been aware of rhamnolipid for some years, but the technology and the science weren’t at a point where we were able to scale it and it remained an invention in a lab, until now. That’s why we are so delighted to be partnering with Evonik. Together, our teams have worked hard to deliver a sustainable and safe product with even better performance.”