Community & Environment |
Monash University

Expert: sustainable palm oil alternative could lay in Aussie-grown crops

Monash University chemists have joined forces with Axieo to develop a new generation of sustainable surfactants from Australian-grown crops.

Surfactants are compounds typically used in cleaning products, but could also be applied to soaps and cosmetics, as an alternative to controversial palm oil.

Researchers will investigate whether new surfactant chemistries can be developed from Australian grown oilseeds as a sustainable feedstock for high value molecules used in industries as diverse as personal care products, laundry detergents and mining.

If successful, the development could position Australia as a leading technology and materials supplier in this field as the potential for new export markets increases.

“These molecules are designed to replace current materials made from petroleum and palm oil, to fulfil a key role as the next generation of bio-resourced detergents and emulsifiers,” said the project’s first investigator, Associate Professor Rico Tabor, School of Chemistry.

“We hope that the surfactants generated can be applied to household cleaning and personal care products, providing high-value chemicals from key Australian crops.”

Associate Professor Tabor said the produced molecules would have improved biodegradability and a reduced ecological burden, providing further benefits to end users and in waste management.

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Media contact:
Associate Professor Rico Tabor, School of Chemistry

Contact details: +61 435 138 743 or 

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