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Personal care materials from CO2

Skin care giant Beiersdorf and Evonik have agreed a research partnership to develop sustainable raw materials for personal care products via artificial photosynthesis, using CO2 as the starting material, along with water, solar energy and bacteria. The two companies described this part of their ongoing efforts to reduce their carbon footprints and becoming carbon-positive.  

Dr May Shana’a, corporate senior VP of R&D at Beiersdorf, said that the company is now determining which raw materials can be produced in this way and could potentially be suitable for its products. “While this has already been observed in the early stages of a number of other industries, this application is in its infancy in the cosmetics industry,” she said.

The project is being funded to the tune of about €1 million by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF), which also previously helped to fund the development of the technology platform for artificial photosynthesis by Evionik and Siemens in the Rheticus project. Via the new project, the two firms are among the 42 involved in the BMBF’s P2X II project. This was launched in September 2019 as one of the projects of the Kopernikus research initiative in energy transition. The stated aim is “to develop processes that use renewable energy to produce high-quality products”.

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