Surfactants: SEPPIC’s green chemistry
A pioneer in the area, SEPPIC has produced alkyl polyglucoside emulsifiers since the 1980s. These ingredients, which form the base of our Montanov range, perfectly illustrate our vision of green chemistry: environmental concerns are combined with economic efficiency. Notably, these ingredients:
- were among the first “green” surfactants and also the first plant based surfactants, resulting in cosmetic products that the user would find pleasant to the touch.
- eplaced certain ingredients that until that point were made with petrochemicals.
- are manufactured following processes that respect the environment, without the use of solvents, and that generate a small amount of waste.
- are biodegradable.
- have no equivalent in the petrochemical industry.
What is a surfactant?
Surfactants are amphiphilic molecules¬–simultaneously lipophilic and hydrophilic–which means they are attracted to both lipids and water. As a result, they allow components that would otherwise not combine, such as oil and water, to do so. Through the surfactant, these two components form an emulsion. Emulsions are part of our everyday life, from mayonnaise to cosmetic skin care cream, construction materials to health products. Surfactants are everywhere!
According to Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1991, “Without surfactants, we would be completely unable to confront 90% of industrial issues”.
A top producer of emulsifying alkyl polyglucosides for the cosmetics industry, we have maintained our lead by developing a wide range of innovative, plant-based products that adhere to the principles of green chemistry.
Our advantage lies in our two-fold expertise, namely that we combine our in-depth knowledge of green surfactants with an understanding of how they are used in our customers' professions.