Creating Plant-Based Surfactants

Ecology and Environment

A recent story on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog features MSI PI Paul Dauenhauer (professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) and his lab, who have developed a method of using biomass to create surfactants that work even better than petroleum-based ones. Surfactants are used in a wide variety of products. Being able to create them from biomass instead of fossil fuels is an important step in increasing sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Professor Dauenhauer and his student Christoph Krumm cofounded Sironix Renewables, of which Dr. Krumm is now the CEO, to manufacture sustainable surfactants for a variety of uses. The story is posted on the Inquiry blog: Startup Scales Up Eco-Friendly Ingredients for Cleaning, Personal Care.

Professor Dauenhauer uses MSI resources to run calculations supporting research into the reaction chemistry of biomass molecules.