German chemical and biotech giant BASF has signed biosurfactant agreements with Japan-based Allied Carbon Solutions (ACS) and UK-based Holiferm, the company announced on 10 March.

The alliance with surfactants-from-biomass provider ACS includes an equity stake, making BASF the single largest shareholder. It also includes technology cooperation, commercial agreement and product development for sophorolipids, a class of glycolipids.

The financial details of the agreements have not been disclosed.

In the agreement with UK start-up company Holiferm, BASF will help develop and manufacture fermentation-derived ingredients for other classes of glycolipids with potential use in home care, industrial formulators and personal care products.

“We see strong business potential in these partnerships,” said BASF care chemicals president Ralph Schweens.

“While BASF already has solid innovation and production capabilities for surfactants, we are always scouting for opportunities to work with partners well-rooted in technologies which add to our strength in order to expand our product portfolio with additional bio-based products.”

In collaboration with ACS, BASF developed BioToLife, a novel sophorolipid-based ingredient produced via fermentation technology, for use in skin, scalp and oral care applications. The product was launched in Asia in the second quarter of 2020.

BASF’s care chemicals division offers a range of ingredients for personal care, home care, industrial and institutional cleaning, and technical applications. Its portfolio includes surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients and cosmetic ingredients.