February 7, 2013

Solazyme, Mitsui oleochemical deal

Algal oil producer Solazyme announced yesterday that it has entered a $20m multi-year deal with Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Ltd. to jointly develop a suite of triglyceride oils for use in the oleochemical industry.

The deal includes further development of Solazyme's high myristic algal oil as well as other oils that Solazyme said it is developing for the oleochemical and industrial sectors. End use applications can include  high-performance polymer additives, aviation lubricants, and toiletry and household products.

Now, the composition of the fatty acids contained in a particular oil determines the further use of the oils. For example, coconut oil and palm kernel oil (or called lauric oils) have high share of fatty acids with short chain length (C8 and C10) or medium chain length (C12 and C14).

These are particularly suitable for further processing to surfactants for detergents and cosmetics application.  Palm oil, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oil as well as animal fats such as tallow contain mainly long-chain fatty acids such as C18s, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, which are used as raw materials for polymer applications and lubricants.

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