Commemorating 100-year Anniversary, Ashland Focuses on Technology Platforms that Help Solve 21st Century Challenges

Joel Mantelin
Sr Director Business Commercial, Ashland

Ashland is commemorating 100-year anniversary. You celebrate this with new technology platforms that help solve 21st century challenges. Can you tell us more about this?

Ashland has stood at the forefront of technology and science for a full century.

What began as an oil, gas and exploration company rapidly expanded into a broad portfolio of innovations and technologies that cut across the personal care, coatings and pharmaceutical landscape. Through organic growth and acquisitions, the company evolved to additives and specialty ingredients with a forward eye and focus on innovation in its many forms. With each successive generation, Ashland transformed its portfolio and purpose to tackle issues that have changed markets and addressed consumer trends. 

Recently, Ashland launched a broad portfolio of new, scalable technology platforms that align to the company’s core personal care, pharmaceutical and coatings businesses and extend to secondary markets in ways that inspire customer innovation and help drive organic growth.

More than 75 percent of the new pipeline of solutions are natural, nature-derived, sustainable in-use, and/or biodegradable and advance the company’s sustainability goals while responding to global consumer megatrends, customer desires, and changing regulations.

Ashland platforms and personal care

The first platform that includes new personal care products is transformed vegetable oils (TVO). These unique, new-to-the-world additives can scale multiple markets with a wide range of attractive characteristics. They are renewable, natural, biodegradable, non-microplastic, non-GMO, and vegan allowing formulators to develop consumer products that meet today’s nature-derived trends and regulations. Bolstered by excellent intellectual property protection, the platform provides four-in-one functionality with tunable water solubility for customers’ exacting specifications.

Utilizing TVO, Ashland launched antaron soja glyceride, a nature-derived, biodegradable film former delivering water resistance, SPF boosting, and pigment dispersal benefits to sun care and color cosmetic formulations. More recently Ashland introduced water-soluble gantrezsoja delivery system for the delivery of oral care actives from toothpaste and mouthwash, and softhance mr conditioning agent based on soybean oil for skin moisture retention and perceivable skin softness from rinse-off skin cleansers.   All are available commercially and the company is working with customers for applications that include home and fabric care.

What products has Ashland launched based on these platforms?

Under the company’s super wetting agents platform, we have developed high-performance, silicon-free, biodegradable wetting agents for all kinds of inorganic and organic substrates. With precise control of the composition, we can assist formulators in adjusting the ratio and “tuning” the additive, creating a library of non-ionic, biodegradable wetting agents. One of the first products launches under this platform is easy-wet™ 300 polymer.

How will formulators of household products benefit from Ashland’s innovation platforms?

Consumers are searching for superior performance from the household products they buy, and they are concerned for the environmental impact of these products. This provides an opportunity for Ashland to tailor new ingredients that allow formulators to elevate the cleaning experience. Ashland’s new technology platforms enable new, customizable ingredients for superior cleaning performance with a strong sustainability profile including wetting agents and dispersants for dishwashing liquid and fabric care.

On a final note, what makes Ashland unique as a partner for innovative ingredients?

Today, we Ashland has the broadest line of cellulosic polymers that act as rheology modifiers across a range of applications. Cellulose is an abundant, renewable, natural material that can be functionalized to create the next generation of sustainable solutions. Two of Ashland’s new technology platforms include liquid cellulose+and novel cellulosics. More information about the benefits and applications will be released soon.

In addition, Ashland has a brand-new R&D center for microbial protection in Hamburg, Germany.  We are proud to add this state-of-the-art, highly equipped laboratory to the Ashland portfolio for holistic solutions in choosing the right antimicrobial to safely protect cosmetic products that support today and tomorrow’s consumer needs.

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