Products, R&D

Logos Technologies launches rhamnolipid surfactants

The blog has covered rhamnolipids in the past but so far the last information I got was in 2012 when a company called AGAE Technologies shipped its first laboratory research-grade rhamnolipid. AGAE has licensed this biosurfactant technology from the Oregon State University. For those who are not familiar with rhamnolipid, it can be produced by fermenting a C18 fatty acid source using a certain bacteria and mannosylerythritol lipids, which can be produced via microbial conversion of glycerin.

NatSurFactLogos Technologies, a diversified science, engineering and technology company, recently has introduced its own line of rhamnolipids fully biodegradable surfactants for use in personal care and household cleaning products under the brand, NatSurFact®. Logos Technologies said their rhamnolipids have been proven to be up to 1000 times more efficacious than current industry-standard agents, such as petroleum-based equivalents.

By using rhamnolipids rather than environmentally harsher sulfate-or-phosphate-based surfactants, the NatSurFact® line offers sustainably produced and ecofriendly formulations with applicability to multiple industries, according to the company.

NatSurFact® is reportedly one of the first commercial applications of rhamnolipids. Logos Technologies produces its own rhamnolipids at a pilot scale with a capacity of around 1 kilogram/week of active material using natural oil for feedstock. Because of its adaptability and high potency, Logos Technologies said NatSurFact® has the potential to be disruptive in sectors as varied as personal care, household cleaning, agriculture, and chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (cEOR).

The company is currently looking for customers, partners and/or investors to work with as it scales up volume, and says it is open to a variety of different partnering arrangements. At commercial scale, Logos Technologies expects to be competitive on price compared to conventional surfactants.  NatSurFact®’s activity is also reportedly quite high compared to conventional surfactants, so Logos Technologies expects its customers can reduce their production costs by using less active material.

The company said it is receiving lots of sample requests from potential customers, indicating there is interest in bringing them to market given that current commercial high-volume production is nil. Price is, of course, very important so Logos Technologies said it has been focusing on driving cost out of production.

Googling rhamnolipids produced very few results in terms of companies producing/supplying this biosurfactant. Companies include US-based AGAE TechnologiesRhamnolipid Companies, GlycoSurf, and TensioGreen.  It is believed that AGAE Technologies and Rhamnolipid Companies also sell their products via fine chemicals distributor, Sigma-Aldrich. AGAE Technologies listed its rhamnolipid price at around $150/gram for 90% purity, and $1500/gram for 95% purity.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype?

Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry.

She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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