Enzyme-catalysed process for the cosmetics industry

12th December 2017

When a cosmetics manufacturer approached us for a specific catalyst, we took a step back and proposed a totally new approach to the challenge.

Inspiring science

The cosmetics industry is a demanding environment. Our customer's product is an important raw material in cosmetics manufactured by a market-leading brand, where purity and process economics have to be tightly controlled. For the process to be economic, it needs to run at a high concentration with a low loading of catalyst.

They requested a palladium-carbon catalyst, but this has issues with selectivity meaning it can’t always run efficiently enough to be economical. We took the time to really understand what the customer needed, then put together a cross functional team from sales, R&D and production who thought outside the box and worked together to develop a biocatalyst solution. Two enzymes acting as catalysts are needed to achieve the transformation, and the team were able to combine these into a single product.


Market application

The new biocatalyst went through several stages of development to ensure it would meet the demanding process and economic targets when scaled up. The resulting catalyst achieves that and more. As well as being economical, it produces a purer product and frees up capacity for other processes at the customer’s site.


Making a difference to lives

Biocatalyst processes using enzymes can generally be run in water at ambient conditions, avoiding the use of hazardous reagents and reducing by-products and waste, making the production route more sustainable, safer and more efficient.

This innovative solution has been embraced by our customer and provides a safe, effective and sustainable approach to manufacturing their product.

Core capabilities

Chemical synthesis