Interview with Louis Snyders, Global Director Care Chemicals at Sasol Chemicals

Interview with Louis Snyders
Global Director Care Chemicals at Sasol Chemicals

You have launched CARINEX SL AND LIVINEX SL, both biosurfactants, at the SEPAWA Congress recently. Can you explain the origin of the bio surfactants you offer?

Unlike traditional surfactants often derived from petroleum or other non-renewable resources, Sasol’s biosurfactants are fully derived from natural oils and/or sugars that are palm-free, making them a more environmentally friendly product with a lower product carbon footprint compared to petrochemical or bio-based surfactants. These next level solutions help result in a cleaner future without compromising on performance or quality.

Based on what technology have these been developed?

As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of surfactants, Sasol is dedicated to advancing the performance of surfactants. With a focus on meeting the sustainability goals of our customers, we were able to accelerate the development of biosurfactants to meet market needs. After about a year of development, we’re excited to now offer a quality, natural, gentle ingredient ready for mass consumption at affordable pricing for our customers.

We announced our partnership with Holiferm Limited in March 2022, to jointly develop new biosurfactants and enable the broad commercialization of sophorolipids, using Holiferm’s proprietary technology.

Sasol Chemicals agreed to purchase the majority of sophorolipids produced at a new Holiferm manufacturing facility and fund research and development to accelerate innovation initiatives to help meet growing demand for sustainable solutions in primary surfactants.

What are the applications for these bio surfactants?

LIVINEX SL is a next-generation solution for a multifunctional surfactant that combines excellent performance with advanced care properties for a wide variety of cleaning solutions. Examples include cleaners, detergents, degreasers and more.

CARINEX SL is an eco-friendly, natural, multifunctional personal care solution offering advanced scalp and skin care properties. Examples include cleansers, creams, moisturizers, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, make-up removers, sunscreen, anti-acne and anti-aging solutions.

Which claims can producers make when formulating with your biosurfactants? 

The process in which our biosurfactants are created offers an extensive reduction in carbon footprint compared with conventional surfactants, without a sacrifice in performance. Biosurfactants are a much more sustainable option as they are fully derived from natural oils and/or sugars. 

Being readily biodegradable and environmentally friendly, these biosurfactants contain no 1,4-dioxane and use no petrochemical solvents in the process. They are also well-tolerated by aquatic organisms.

One challenge of biosurfactants in the market is the price. How do your new products compare?

Sasol’s biosurfactants are naturally occurring compounds and produced using innovative fermentation technology, made at large-scale production with associated cost-reduction. The larger the scale of production, the lower the costs.

While biosurfactants have been used as active ingredients within niche applications, they have only recently become more commercialized by various manufacturers, making them more affordable and available in higher volumes.

Sasol Chemicals announced a partnership with Solugen to identify sustainable solutions. What do you expect from this partnership? 

We’re still at the beginning stages of this relationship, but we’re excited about the type of technology Solugen can offer as we continue to offer our customers lower-carbon products.

Both Solugen and Sasol have similar sustainability goals and as we continue to work together, our hope is to uncover new findings that lead to innovative solutions.

Last but not least: How did you enjoy the SEPAWA Congress 2023? 

Sasol looks forward to the opportunity to attend the SEPAWA Congress each year. We find tremendous value in learning and contributing to discussions about the future of the industry, meeting with existing and potential customers, and networking with industry peers.

We believe partnerships are the key to unlocking and accelerating sustainable innovation and transformation within the industries we serve. Our new biosurfactants are proof of that and something we were excited to share with this year’s attendees.


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