Unilever has partnered with LanzaTech and India Glycols to produce a laundry soap made from industrial carbon emissions rather than fossil fuels.
Surfactants, the foaming main ingredient of many household cleaning products, are typically derived from fossil fuels. However, Unilever's innovative change in production allows surfactants to be made from recycled carbon. Recycled carbon is essential to eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
The process marks the first time that a surfactant has been made from captured carbon emissions and marketed to the public as part of a mainstream cleaning product. The new surfactant launched in China on Earth Day in an OMO laundry capsule with no increase in price.
"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 and enabling new circular processes to make the products we use every day," said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.
Lanzatech was responsible for using biotechnology to capture industrial waste emissions and converting them to ethanol, which is estimated to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82% compared to the traditional fossil fuel process.