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Green Chemistry Concepts in Personal Care and Cosmetics
Posted: February 14, 2008
page 5 of 9
These researchers prepared lipoheteropolysaccharides from renewable resources and developed innovative methods to control the product’s fatty acid structure and the degree of substitution. This has led to a diverse family of new biodegradable bioemulsifiers that have wide applicability for biocosmetics and other fields.
A second technology area has used polyethylene glycols to regulate microbial polyester molecular weight, repeat unit composition, and alter repeat unit sequence distribution. Furthermore, this strategy can be used to form microbial polyester-polyethyleneglycol diblock copolymers. It is now possible, therefore, to consider the in vivo preparation of synthetic-natural diblocks. This technology created a number of opportunities for the preparation of completely biodegradable interfacial agents for blends, the termination of chains with reactive end-groups for coupling pharmacologically active molecules, and the engineering of surfactant molecules.
A third technology area has been the development of new fermentation routes to anionic γ-polyglutamic acid from renewable resources such as glucose. γ-Polyglutamic acid is a cosmetic thickener. These routes have the potential to replace millions of pounds of anionic polymers, such as polyacrylic acid, which is nonbiodegradable and persistent in nature.
Using CLECS to broaden the use of enzymes as industrial catalysts: Enzymes are safe and efficient industrial catalysts, but they did not exhibit the chemical and physical stability associated with more conventional, small-molecule organic and inorganic heterogeneous catalysts. Not, at least, until the 1990s when Altus Biologics developed a conceptually simple and broadly applicable solution.
The solution was to formulate the enzymes in a cross-linked crystalline form—a CLEC—that enables the enzyme to be used under the harsh chemical, physical and mechanical conditions that characterize most practical industrial processes. More than 20 enzymes have been formulated as CLECs and Altus Biologics has demonstrated their utility on a pilot scale in consumer products such as detergents and cosmetics, among a range of applications.