Creative Chemistry using Renewable Microalgae

Find out more about our journey as we combine Creative Chemistry with Solazyme technology to bring you a range of new products....

Creative Chemistry using Renewable Microalgae

From mighty multinationals to household hobbyists, soap manufacturers owe many of their product innovations and ethically sourced materials to our team here at Stephenson Personal Care. Although a multifaceted conglomerate, our business has become renowned for personal care ingenuity and of course, creative chemistry.

As the Renewable and Sustainable raw material market is developing and in line with the growing acceptance of products derived from algae oil, we have developed a range of Speciality Soap bases alongside South San Francisco company Solazyme. The supply agreement and development project will see Stephenson Personal Care convert algae-based oil into a range of speciality soap bases for Personal Care and Household applications.

Supplying a wide range of blue chip brands and manufacturers Stephenson has been working alongside Solazyme to commercialise these oils.

“We are now producing commercial runs of these products, which is exciting. This is a fantastic step for our Product Development and Innovation team and illustrates our real and positive intent to offer tailored Renewable oils and speciality soap bases into the Personal Care market” said CEO Jamie Bentley.

Stephenson Personal Care will be utilising the MicroAlgae oil for a range personal care ingredients, such as:

  • Extruded Soap Base - Bar Soap Production
  • Glycerin Soap Bases – Bar Soap Production
  • Liquid Soap Bases – Personal Care Applications
  • Lotion Bases – Personal Care Applications
  • Emulsifiers – Personal Care & Household Applications
  • Liquid Concentrates – Household Applications

Stephenson Personal Care acts as one of the world’s first soap base manufacturers to fully utilise renewable algae oil for production, and as such, have pioneered not just RSPO compliant personal care products in the international market, but now Algae Oil development and research.

“We have now created, tested and supplied truly renewable soap bases, as so many major global brands and retailers have made sustainable resource commitments, our status as one of the world’s only such manufacturers places us in a very central market position,” Chris – US Business & Marketing Manager.

This specialisation in ethical manufacturing, coupled with the technical capabilities ensures that Stephenson Personal Care is recognised as a trusted name worldwide.

Chris adds “Whereas many soap base manufacturers are reliant on a single stream of material, we are able to rely on a diverse array of sources, and can promise genuine flexibility to our clients, particularly in terms of differentiation and innovation, as our Solazyme project illustrates”

Solazyme have pioneered an industrial biotechnology platform that harnesses the prolific oil-producing ability of microalgae. By taking Solazyme microalgae Stephenson Personal Care are able to saponify the oils into soap and can replicate the blend of regular oils such as Coconut and Olive. The Algae oils are comparable in performance to conventional raw materials, and so production, manufacture and in turn finished soap base performance has been matched during the program with Solazyme.

Using standard industrial fermentation equipment to efficiently scale and accelerate the microalgae’s natural oil production time to just a few days. Solazyme’s platform is feedstock flexible and can utilize a wide variety of plant-based sugars, such as sugarcane-based sucrose, corn-based dextrose, and sugar from other biomass sources including cellulosics.

How does the Solazyme biotechnology platform work?

Most microalgae produce their own nutrients by using sunlight in a photosynthetic process. Solazyme’s proprietary microalgae are heterotrophic, meaning they grow in the dark (in fermenters) by consuming sugars derived from plants that have already harnessed the sun’s energy.

By using standard industrial fermentation equipment, Solazyme are able to efficiently scale and accelerate microalgae’s natural oil production time to just a few days and at commercial levels.

Stephenson Personal Care is strongly positioned to supply exactly the materials being demanded by the industry.

“We’re excited about this development program, we offer RSPO bases, Fairtrade and have developed and processed Algae Oils. Many organisations have tailored strategies to convert to sustainable palm oil, Fairtrade and / or renewable raw materials such as Algae Oil in the coming years wherever possible, and the soap bases we produce allow them to easily make that transition in finsihed product applications,” Peter Ellis – Commercial Director concludes.

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