Five minutes at Sepawa with …
H&PC: How is 2017 going and what do you feel about next year?
Martin Husmann: Business is growing, our aminoacid-based surfactants are going very well. More and more companies are trying to go green, getting certifications such as RSPO. We provide more and more RSPO mass balance certified surfactants. The glutamate part of our surfactants is originated from a fermentation process and as such it can be considered green. The fatty acid part is provided from cocoa or other plants, not necessarily palm.
H&PC: What is the advantage of aminoacid-based surfactants?
MH: Especially the glutamate-surfactants are seen as very green surfactants, they can be easily certified according to several labels such as COSMOS, Eco Label, Nordic Swan, NaTrue. It plays in the direction towards sustainability. They are however ideal, in performance, for rinse-off applications where you need very good foam and mildness.
H&PC: Any new products coming in this sector?
MH: We are presenting here a new product, Perlastan Rheo2Green1. This is a concentrate of lauryl glucoside and glutamate surfactant, in combination. The nice thing is that it provides a micelle thickening effect. Normally to thicken green formulations such as shampoos one relied on hydrophylic polymers like, say, xanthan gum. But they do not have an optimal viscosity behaviour. This glutamate surfactant basically thickens the formulation by itself, simply by reducing the formulation pH at a level between 4.5 and 5.0. In this way, one can have a green, mild formulation with the desired rheological properties, retaining excellent feeling on the skin.
H&PC: Do you offer other biosurfactants or bio-based products?
MH: Aminoacid-based surfactants are our niche market, but we offer other types of products. We offer for example PolyFix, a line of odour absorbers based on activated zinc ricinoleate. Ricinolic acid is the fatty acid of castor oil. These absorbers are water-soluble concentrates that help formulations remove isovaleric acid (sweat odour), amines and ammonia, mercaptanes and other foul smelling chemicals from textiles and other materials. Zinc ricinoleate is only poorly soluble in water but we managed to make them soluble by combining it with chelating agents. The zinc ricinoleate then locates on the water-air interface and can remove odours from the surrounding environment.
H&PC: What trends do you see in the surfactant market?
MH: We work with a lot of distributors around the world; we are not only focused on European market but all the world. We try to focus more and more in the export market. Most important for us is North America and Canada. Some growth will come from Asia as well, even if it is a competitive place. We talk mostly about monomers; we now start selling some polymeric surfactants as well.
H&PC: What puts Schill+Seilacher on top of the competition, in your opinion?
MH: We work very close with the customer, we have a high ratio of scientists in our company -Schill+Seilacher is famous for being at the forefront. And we offer a strong, reliable structure even for export.