Unilever has partnered with LanzaTech, and India Glycols for the production of its first carbon capture laundry detergent. The product contains a compound called surfactant that is made from captured carbon.
It was launched on April 22nd – the World Earth Day to celebrate the breakthrough of future technologies and the potential they have to use recycled CO2 to make everything. The companies are demonstrating how carbon capture utilization and storage technology CCUS can enable new CO2 conversion processes as a climate change mitigation solution.
“Our planet is running out of time and how we treat carbon requires urgent revision. By working with Unilever and IGL we can turn waste carbon into an opportunity, keeping fossil fuels in the ground…” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.
According to Peter ter Kulve, President of Home Care at Unilever: “Advancements in technology like this mean we can now reinvent the chemistry of our products. Instead of valuable carbon being released directly into the atmosphere, we can capture it and recycle it in our products instead of using fossil fuels.”
Production Process Of The Carbon Capture Laundry Capsules
The production process of the detergent capsules includes three stages. The first one is capturing the CO2 emissions at the Beijing Shougang LanzaTech plant in China. LanzaTech captures the carbon dioxide at its joint facility with steel company Shougang Group for converting waste steel mill gases into sustainable biofuels.
The company is producing ethanol from captured CO2 and claims the end product to be 80% less carbon-intensive than traditional ethanol. The second stage includes the petrochemical company India Glycols (IGL) turning the ethanol into ethylene oxide. That is an ingredient in surfactant production that is carried out at an IGL site in India.
Finally, Unilever is using the surfactant into its new OMO laundry detergent, manufactured at its Hefei plant in China. The company’s partnership with IGL and LanzaTech is an effort to eliminate fossil fuel based ingredients from its production lines. Unilver wants to become net zero by 2039 and have no fossil-fuel based chemicals in cleaning and laundry products by 2030.