Procter & Gamble has created a new technology that converts lactic acid into bio-based acrylic acid — which can help shift everyday goods to be made from annually renewable crops. P&G has granted Cargill an exclusive license that allows Cargill to further develop and commercialize this technology, so that it can ultimately be incorporated in a range of applications from superabsorbent polymers in absorbent hygiene products to thickeners in household paints. The use of bio-based acrylic acid is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to healthier consumer products.
P&G scientists were recently announced as winners of the American Chemical Society (ACS) 2020 Award for Affordable Green Chemistry for this proprietary technology. While the conversion technology is considered a breakthrough, P&G says it will take several more years of development before impacting consumer products in the marketplace.
P&G asserts that by investing in advancing bio-based solutions, the company will help reduce the carbon footprint of various industries. And according to Cargill, using annually renewable crops contributes to farmer prosperity while delivering more renewable solutions that are estimated to have less than half the GHG footprint versus the petroleum-based equivalent.
For the past several years, P&G has been active in the sustainability space. In 2019, the company announced that would purchase 100% renewable electricity in the US and Canada, and while extending the practice to Western Europe. The company says the accomplishment is driven largely by its wind farm in Tyler Bluff, Texas, which offsets 100% of the electricity needed for P&G’s Fabric and Home Care facilities in the US and Canada, and its onsite combined heat and power biomass facility in Albany, Georgia, which provides 100% of the Bounty and Charmin steam requirements at this plant.
Much of the company’s renewable energy efforts are part of P&G’s Ambition 2030 goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030.