"Fermentation is a new platform technology for Stepan Company as we look to commercialize next generation surfactants. Biosurfactants, produced via fermentation, are attractive due to their favorable biodegradability, low toxicity, and in some cases, unique antimicrobial properties," said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Stepan Company.
Biosurfactants can be an attractive formulation option for customers in the agriculture, oilfield, personal care and household, industrial and institutional cleaning markets. In March 2020, Stepan closed on the acquisition of Natsurfact, a rhamnolipid-based line of biosurfactants derived from renewable sources. Natsurfact's rhamnolipid technology provides an important new option as customers across markets seek new sustainability targets for their products, according to the company.
"The acquisition of an industrial scale fermentation plant represents the latest step in our biosurfactant commercialization efforts. With additional investment, we expect to be able to produce 20,000 metric tons per year of biosurfactants from the site. We look forward to working with our customers to bring these next generation surfactants to the market," Stepan said.