Amyris to develop NPE replacements

Collaborates with Wilmar

US-based supplier Amyris is collaborating with Wilmar International to develop and commercialise a family of surfactants derived from Amyris Biofene. The surfactants are expected to replace nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants (NPEs), the use of which is currently being phased out or restricted around the world due to health and environmental concerns.

The collaboration will see both parties engage in a feasibility study to complete the technical development of the surfactants, engage in testing activities to validate product performance and customer acceptance, and secure necessary regulatory approvals for the manufacture and sale of products. Following this, it is likely that Amyris and Wilmar will form a joint venture company through which they will manufacture products to be marketed by Wilmar. The jv may produce its own Biofene for captive use.

“This collaboration represents an important step in the additional geographic diversification of our renewable products business,” commented Amyris ceo John Melo. “Wilmar is the leading agribusiness group in Asia. Its integrated business model, rapid growth mode and Asian presence and distribution footprint combined with our breakthrough technology will provide a powerful platform for capturing a portion of the large global surfactants market.”