Biodegradable Alternative to Petroleum Surfactants


by | Jun 17, 2014

NatSurFactLogos Technologies is introducing a line of fully biodegradable surfactants for use in personal care and household cleaning products.

The NatSurFact product line is based on naturally occurring organic biosurfactants, called rhamnolipids, which the company says have been proven to be up to 1,000 times more efficacious than current industry-standard agents, such as petroleum-based equivalents.

Surfactants are molecules that interact at the interface between two fluids, or a fluid and a solid. Common effects they promote include the foaming of detergents or the emulsification of oils. By using rhamnolipids rather than environmentally harsher sulfate-or-phosphate-based surfactants, the NatSurFact line offers sustainably produced and ecofriendly formulations applicable to multiple industries, including personal care, household cleaning, agriculture and chemical enhanced oil recovery, the company says.

NatSurFact is one of the first commercial applications of rhamnolipids, natural compounds produced by microbes including bacteria and yeast, Logos Technologies says. An EPA report concluded that rhamnolipids are readily biodegradable and have no adverse effects on humans or the environment, differentiating the compounds from conventional surfactants.


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