Evonik marks start of a revolution in cleaning and personal care with groundbreaking ceremony in Slovenská Ľupča, Slovakia
Essen - Evonik is celebrating the start of construction of the world’s first commercial rhamnolipid production facility with a groundbreaking ceremony.
The new biosurfactant plant is a triple-digit million-euro investment in Evonik’s biotech hub in Slovakia. This will establish Evonik as a pioneer of high-quality, sustainable biosurfactants on a commercial scale and further strengthen the site in Slovenská Ľupča as a strategic center for biotechnology. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants and are essential constituents of cleaning and personal care products. Evonik’s rhamnolipids are 100 % bio-based and 100 % biodegradable.
The new facility in Slovenská Ľupča will expand Evonik’s biotechnology platform, which is an integral part of the company’s life sciences division Nutrition & Care. Rhamnolipid biosurfactants are manufactured and sourced more sustainably and play an essential role in transitioning the Nutrition & Care division to a provider of system solutions. The division aims to increase the share of system solutions it offers from 20 percent today, to more than 50 percent by 2030.
The innovation power in Nutrition & Care stems from a clear focus on sustainability, which also drives its portfolio transformation. In addition to ingredients used in household, industrial, institutional, and vehicle cleaning as well as cosmetic products, Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division uses fermentation technologies across a range of other high growth markets including sustainable animal nutrition, medical devices, advanced food ingredients and pharmaceutical drug products.
“Today is an important day for our partnership with Unilever, our employees in Slovakia, our Nutrition & Care division, and for our planet. We are delighted that the construction of our new biosurfactant plant is now underway,” says Yann d'Hervé, head of Evonik's Care Solutions business line.
Industrial biotechnology at Slovenská Ľupča is cutting edge. This offers interesting job prospects for biotechnologists, laboratory technicians, engineers, and many other professions.
“I am proud that our Evonik site in Slovakia will play a critical role in supplying the world with more sustainable cleaning and personal care products. This is not just pivotal for a sustainable future, our investment here in Slovenská Ľupča is also beneficial for our region – attracting highly qualified experts that have helped establish Evonik Fermas as a biotech hub for the global market,” says Miroslav Havlik, general manager of Evonik Fermas.
Rhamnolipids are a class of biosurfactants which are sustainably manufactured via a fermentation process using European corn sugar as the main raw material. This use of biogenic carbon requires no petrochemical feedstocks or tropical oils. Rhamnolipids are fully biodegradable, and their low-impact life cycle means they are a sustainable alternative to conventional surfactants. Their exceptional foam-forming properties make them suitable for use in household cleaners and personal care products like shampoos and micellar waters. Their pleasant taste also enables the formulation of oral care products, such as toothpaste, without strong taste masking components.
Evonik Fermas, which is located at Slovenská Ľupča in Slovakia, was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Degussa AG and the Slovakian company Biotika a.s. Evonik Fermas originally used biotechnology to produce amino acids for animal feed but quickly became adept at manufacturing a range of fermentation-based products for applications in animal nutrition, pharmaceutical products and the cosmetic and personal care industry. Over the years that followed, the site continued adding new products and investments, improved technologies and infrastructure. In 2016, Evonik Fermas ran the first pilot plant for the manufacture of sustainable biosurfactants via fermentation.
About Evonik Nutrition & Care
The focus of the business of the Nutrition & Care division is on health and quality of life. It develops differentiated solutions for active pharmaceutical ingredients, medical devices, nutrition for humans and animals, personal care, cosmetics, and household cleaning. In these resilient end markets, the division generated sales of €3.56 billion in 2021 with about 5,300 employees.
Solvay to produce green hydrogen for its Peroxides activity in Rosignano, Italy
Partnership with Sapio will develop Europe's first hub for the production of green hydrogen peroxide by mid-2026 and help decarbonize the plant.
Carbios and Indorama Ventures reaffirm partnership to build first-of-a-kind PET biorecycling plant in Longlaville, France
Under the agreement Carbios should acquire 13ha land from Indorama Ventures’ existing PET plant at Longlaville and expects to be granted permits by Q3 2023, allowing start of construction by end of...
Plug power makes major strategic move into Finland’s green hydrogen economy with its proven PEM Electrolyzer and Liquefaction technology at Kokkola, Kristinestad and Porvoo
Plug plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland for European markets, working with multiple financial and industrial partners
ACC inaugurates its first Gigafactory in Billy-Berclau/Douvrin, France
This Gigafactory includes over 60,000 m2 of workshops, with an initial production line with a capacity of more than 13 GWh, rising to 40 GWh by 2030. A local, skilled workforce that will contribute...