Evonik ©
Evonik ©

Speciality chemical company Evonik has manufactured its first batch of biosurfactants from its industrial-scale plant in Slovakia, ahead of schedule.

Evonik produces its range of rhamnolipid biosurfactants at the plant in Slovenská Ľupča from corn sugar using a fermentation-based manufacturing process.

The biogenic, carbon-based process did not require petrochemical feedstocks or tropical oils, Evonik said on 18 January.

Evonik is active in more than 100 countries and its Nutrition & Care division develops products for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics and household cleaning.

Located in Slovenská Ľupča, Evonik Fermas was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Degussa AG and Biotika.

The company initially produced amino acids for animal feed using biotechnology, but in 1998, became a 100% subsidiary of Evonik, expanding to include the production of fermentation-based products for animal nutrition, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care.

In 2016, Evonik Fermas ran the first pilot plant for the production of biosurfactants via fermentation.

Rhamnolipids are a class of biosurfactants which are manufactured via fermentation, with their foam-forming properties making them suitable for use in household cleaners and personal care products. They are also suitable for use in industrial applications such as coatings, mining, and oil and gas.