Keele chemists embarking on multi-million-pound study to help Unilever decarbonise products
Researchers from Keele University have set out on a new project with Unilever, maker of some of the world’s leading home care brands, to help decarbonise its portfolio of cleaning products.
The project, led by Unilever and University College London, has been funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The programme has seen BBSRC support 10 research collaborations between UK businesses and academia for a variety of bioscience and biotechnology-related research.
This partnership award, which includes Professor Gavin Miller and Dr Sebastian Cosgrove from Keele’s Centre for Glycoscience and the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, will seek to make the production of consumer cleaning products more sustainable and environmentally friendly, which could benefit not just Unilever, but the entire global cleaning industry.
Key ingredients in these products are surfactants and polymers, a large proportion of which are made using fossil fuel reserves. As part of its Clean Future strategy, Unilever aims to re-design surfactants and polymers from bio-based feedstocks, and to explore their potential applications and manufacture. Unilever Home Care’s Clean Future strategy is leading a transformation of the cleaning and home care industry that sets new standards in superiority and sustainability through the use of science and technologies whilst delivering great value.
Professor Gavin Miller, Director of Keele’s Centre for Glycoscience, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Unilever and our academic partners on this Prosperity Partnership. The fundamental glycoscience research ongoing at Keele will be key to developing the new methods for the benign production of important surfactant and polymer ingredients for potential use in Unilever’s product portfolio.”
Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of Keele University, added: “I am delighted by this major multi-million pound BBSRC Prosperity Partnership Programme grant success for Keele’s Centre for Glycoscience, in partnership with researchers at University College London and Manchester and Liverpool Universities and Unilever. The grant success and partnership highlights our major research strengths at Keele in sustainable chemistry and sustainable and environmentally friendly chemical production, as well as in environmental sustainability more generally.“
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