The new facility is projected to be operational in 2017, according to Croda’s announcement to the press.
At the facility, the company will be manufacturing sustainable surfactants from plant materials. And, “these bio-based ingredients will be the first of their kind to be made in North America and will mark the arrival of the widest range of 100% sustainable non-ionic surfactants on the market, due to the size of Croda’s portfolio and the scale of the global customers and markets it serves,” states the media release.
Business consumers, much like end-users, are looking to buy from suppliers that are conscientious about the environmental impact of their business.
A recent study from UL looking at the importance of green certification found that “companies rely on the businesses they purchase supplies from to honestly explain a product’s origin….Third-party verification about a product’s sustainability and environmental impact in the form of trustworthy certifications go a long way to expedite and simplify B2B purchases,” Cosmetics Design reported.
The facility that Croda is building will also “enable manufacture at Atlas Point to move away from petrochemical ethylene as a new manufacturing plant will be built on site, consuming bio-ethanol,” the company explained in the media release.
Even as conventional surfactants are being pushed to the side lines by bio-versions, a technology that could eliminate the need for chemical surfactants altogether had made news lately.
Researchers at the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science have developed an ultrasound machine that disperses oil into water and maintains a nanoscale emulsion without a surfactant.
“Our technology is the only one that can mix water and oil at room temperature without using surfactants,” said project lead Dr. Choo Min-chul. “The method can be utilized in not only body-friendly cosmetics but also drugs and food.”
When this technology will be in common use is another question entirely.
Croda boasts that 70% of the raw materials the company uses in manufacturing its specialty chemicals come from renewable sources.
And beyond that: “Our long history and expertise in the manufacture of speciality non-ionic surfactants means that through this innovative technology, we further align with our customers by taking a proactive, leading position in enabling them to meet their goals to deliver sustainable high performance products to their consumers,” said Steve Foots, chief executive of Croda.