Blue Marble Biomaterials says its foray into cosmetic fragrances and extracts made from recycled materials could grow exponentially as the applications for its technology expand.
Currently the Montana-based company is principally working with by-product such as beer mash, coffee and forestry residue and has developed two processes for generating fragrances, as well as a range of oils and other ingredients.
The biomass is sourced from a range of producers and is first emulsified, before entering the extraction process, which produces oils, terpenes and carotenoids. Currently the oils include roasted coffee, subcritical coffee and coffee butter, which have applications ranging from wrinkles to cellulite.
The extraction process...
The extracted biomass is then fed into fermenting machinery, along with recycled water, where an ecosystem of bacteria eats sugars in the biomass and excretes acids, esters, and biogas. The resulting biomass is de-watered and distilled into chemical products, including fragrance compounds.
“We have a virtually unlimited supply of extract materials. So far, we’ve worked with coffee grounds, spices, forestry products, hops, and algae, but the scope of potential extracts is extremely broad,” said the company’s chief science officer, James Stephens in an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design.
“Our unique subcritical extraction process allows us to retrieve extracts and oils from materials as diverse as shellfish and wildflowers. Indeed, we have had conversations with individuals and companies about making extracts from rare and/or exotic biomass such as white grapefruit, black cumin, damask rose, ambrette and angelica.”
Looking to expand cosmetic applications
The company said that it is looking at further engage with a range of cosmetics companies to investigate different applications from a whole range of feedstock, and also has the research and development facilities in-house to test the parameters.
“In addition to the coffee oil we produce a variety of oils from locally and nationally sourced feedstocks, including clove bud, juniper, yarrow, coriander seed, cinnamon bark, spinach, black pepper, green tea, ponderosa pine, star anise, cardamom seed, dandelion, and lemongrass,” Stephens added.
The company also produces some extracts with emollient, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, used in products as wide-ranging as lotions, body wash and make-up.
Meanwhile, on the fragrance side, the companies esters are said to have sweeter, fruitier fragrance profiles, while it has even worked with a company in Seattle called Sweet Anthem to produce a carbon-neutral perfume made from esters extracted from brewery grain.
Unique fragrance top notes
“One benefit of our extraction technology is that it creates a unique top-note within the oil, which can offer fragrance manufacturers a new twist on standard scents,” Stephens said.
The company is also proud of the sustainable manner in which it operates, and highlights the fact that this can be of significant benefit to manufacturers wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and market products with a green tag.
“While the feedstocks for our fragrance chemicals are recycled, we like to think of our products in the broader scope of sustainability, and that’s how we present to our buyers,” Stephens said. “The process we use to produce all of our extracts is sustainable, and our goal is to generate carbon-neutral materials. “