Beiersdorf, a producer of skincare products and specialty chemical giant Evonik have established a research partnership that will study the development of sustainable raw materials for personal care products, using carbon dioxide (CO2) as the starting material.
Beiersdorf's brands include Nivea and Coppertone.
The technology the companies are looking at is one that copied from nature. They propose to use artificial photosynthesis, a technology modeled on natural photosynthesis that uses electricity from solar energy and bacteria to produce valuable raw materials are produced with water and CO2.
The collaboration was prompted by Beiersdorf’s search for new sources of raw materials that will also reduce the company’s carbon footprint and "fits perfectly with our sustainability agenda," said May Shana’a, corporate senior vice president, Research and Development.
“We are pursuing a vision of becoming climate positive, and we want to play a part in closing the carbon cycle.” The companies are currently evaluating which raw materials could be produced with the aid of artificial photosynthesis. The technology, if successful, will also decrease the company’s land use for renewable resources.
The collaboration, said Evonik, is an opportunity for it to expand the future product portfolio for artificial photosynthesis. Evonik is developing the technology platform needed for artificial photosynthesis together with Siemens, within the scope of the Rheticus project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The present research collaboration with Beiersdorf, which is independent of the cooperation with Siemens, has received some 1 million euros (US $1.09 million) in funding from BMBF.