German chemical and biotech giant BASF has formed a partnership with US-based technology start-up RiKarbon to produce emollients derived from bio-waste, the companies announced.

The partnership would involve BASF licensing and commercialising RiKarbon’s proprietary technology, the 21 September joint statement said.

RiKarbon’s technology processes bio-waste into bio-based, biodegradable emollients for the global personal care market.

BASF said it planned to bring the RiKarbon technology in-house and was planning a market launch of the initial solutions in 2024.

Founded in 2018, RiKarbon’s technologies produce commercial renewable chemicals and ingredients, such as base oils and emollients for renewable plastics, healthcare, and speciality applications, including cosmetics and hair and skincare products.

According to its website, RiKarbon’s emollients are comprised 100% bio-based carbon, with 60% sourced from agricultural waste materials.

The company said its emollients could be used in personal care products as a bio-based alternative to linear silicones, petrochemical-derived hydrocarbons and esters.

“RiKarbon’s results from laboratory trials are very encouraging and show the potential… for the personal care market,” Dr Robert Parker, director of new business development & digital officer (Care Chemicals) at BASF, said.