Elevance partners with Stepan

I received this news yesterday about Elevance teaming up with surfactant producer Stepan on the development and marketing of surfactants, antimicrobials and polyurethane polyols using Elevance’s proprietary feedstock 9-decenoic esters and C18 dibasic ester.

I wrote an article for ICIS News but I couldn’t find it so since we adhere to the blog’s motto of Zero-waste, here is the article for free:


Elevance and Stepan to market novel surfactants and PUs

US Elevance Renewable Sciences and surfactant firm Stepan plan to commercialize surfactants, antimicrobials and polyurethane polyols using 9-decenoic and C18 dibasic esters for feedstock, company officials announced on Tuesday.

Stepan said it will utilize their existing global network and manufacturing sites to bring the products out to the market.

“Our recently expanded operations in Asia would be considered a future targeted production region for surfactants, antimicrobials and polyols commercialized from this technology,” said Scott Behrens, vice president, business management at Stepan.

In July, Stepan acquired a 100,000 tonne/year methyl ester plant in Singapore from German oleochemicals producer Peter Cremer GmbH. Also that month, Stepan increased its ownership in a Philippine surfactants joint venture Stepan Philippines Inc. with United Coconut Chemicals.

Stepan will provide its expertise in sulfonation, esterification and quaternization processes in the production of the novel surfactants, antimicrobials and polyls, said Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson.

Elevance produces the intermediate chemical 9-decenoic esters and acids via its proprietary metathesis technology using various natural oils and waste oils as raw materials. The 9-decenoic acid (9-DA) is then used to produce C18 dibasic acids and esters.

Traditionally produced 9-decenoic acid from fermentation processing is priced at about $1,000/kg, according to Elevance. The company’s 9-DA is in the range of $5/kg, which enables development of new uses from the product.

For Stepan going through this development is out of the norm for the company, said surfactant consultant Neil A. Burns of New Jersey, US-based Neil A. Burns LLC.

“Stepan has been successful by taking a conservative approach to their business. Either this means Stepan is stepping outside their comfort zone, or they view the Elevance technology as a potential mainstream game-changer in surfactants. I think it’s a bit of both,” said Burns.

By Doris de Guzman

One Response to Elevance partners with Stepan

  1. Neil Burns 27 October, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Doris – I like the zero waste concept and hence your publishing this ICIS article right here in the blog! The other important aspect to this story (which you recently reported in the blog) is that Elevance, in June, put together an agreement with Wilmar to build a 180 KMT/yr biorefinery at a Wilmar site in Surabaya, Indonesia. Now, with this Stepan agreement, Elevance is extending the reach of its technology from the palm plantation (at Wilmar) to the surfactant and polyol applications (at Stepan). I think this is a significant story for the detergent and surfactant industries.

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