Solazyme, a renewable oil and bioproducts company, has inked a research and development deal with Unilever to develop an algae-based oil that can be used in its soaps and other personal care products. This follows a year-long collaboration between the two companies that yielded successful tests of renewable algal oils in Unilever product formulations.
The two companies are developing a process to incorporate targeted algal oils into personal care products with a focus on producing the oil and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities on a commercial scale.
Unilever is also looking at next-generation sources of renewable oil for use in its other products.
The company says looking at new sources of alternative natural oil is an important part of its sustainable sourcing strategy.
Unilever also pledged last year to exclusively use palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for its beauty products by 2015.
At the Copenhagen conference in December last year, Solazyme demonstrated its 100-percent algae-based fuel for vehicles.