US consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) and global agribusiness giant Cargill have teamed up on a project to convert lactic acid into bio-based acrylic acid, the companies announced on 13 May.

The newly developed conversion technology could help increase the use of annually renewable crops in the production of everyday goods, according to the companies.

P&G had granted Cargill an exclusive license to develop and commercialise the technology so that it could be incorporated in a range of applications from superabsorbent polymers in absorbent hygiene products to thickeners in household paints and other products.

“By using annually renewable crops, we’ll be able to contribute to farmer prosperity while delivering more renewable solutions that are estimated to have less than half the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint versus the petroleum-based equivalent,” said Dr Jill Zullo, strategic marketing and innovation leader for Cargill’s bio industrial business.

P&G scientists were the winners of the American Chemical Society 2020 Award for Affordable Green Chemistry for this technology, which was expected to take several more years of development before being used in consumer products.