Global skin care major Beiersdorf and chemicals company Evonik are jointly researching how to develop sustainable raw materials for beauty products using carbon dioxide (CO2).

The €1m research project, funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), will investigate developing sustainable raw materials using water and CO2 generated from an artificial photosynthesis model.

If Beiersdorf, whose global brands include Nivea, Eucerin and La Prairie, succeeds in using CO2 as a source for the raw materials used in its products, this will reduce the company’s carbon footprint as well as the land used for renewable resources.

Thomas Haas, who is responsible for artificial photosynthesis at Evonik, added, “By using carbon dioxide as the starting material for the production of valuable raw materials, we can close the carbon cycle – exactly as demonstrated by nature with photosynthesis.”

“With Beiersdorf, we have a partner who is joining us in extending the value chain to include sustainable CO2-based products – in the interests of the consumer.”

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Source: Beiersdorf

Evonik is developing the technology platform needed for artificial photosynthesis together with Siemens in the Rheticus project funded by the BMBF.

Dr. May Shana’a, Corporate Senior Vice-President of Research and Development at Beiersdorf, added, “We are pursuing a vision of becoming climate positive, and we want to play a part in closing the carbon cycle.”

“Together with Evonik, we are determining which raw materials can be produced with the aid of artificial photosynthesis and could potentially be suitable for our care products.”

“While this has already been observed in the early stages of a number of other industries, this application is in its infancy in the cosmetics industry.”