Global cosmetics giant Coty and carbon recycling company Lanzatech have begun production of fragrances made from carbon-captured ethanol, a world-first.
Ethanol, usually derived from plant-based materials, is a key ingredient in making fragrances and is a top ingredient by volume.
According to the company, its carbon-captured ethanol involves nearly zero water consumption and reduces the need for agricultural land, limiting its impact on biodiversity and lowering its carbon emissions related to fragrance production.
Dubbed CarbonSmart, the carbon-captured ethanol is made using a technology that involves gas fermentation. The process is similar to traditional fermentation, but instead of sugar and yeast, CO2 and CO (carbon monoxide) captured by the company from industrial activities are used as food for bacteria to produce the alcohol.
Together with Lanzatech and its production partners, Coty’s scientists shared that it took more than two years to develop high-purity sustainable ethanol that’s at par with other perfume-grade ethanols found in the market.
“After two years of working side by side with Coty scientists to develop a high-purity ethanol suitable for use in fine fragrances, we are excited to see Coty bring the first globally distributed fragrances made from ethanol to market so that consumers can choose products made from recycled carbon,” said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO at LanzaTech.
The cosmetics company’s sustainability efforts and its partnership with Lanzatech are led by chief scientific officer Dr Shimei Fan.
“Coty’s accelerated release of fragrances made using carbon-captured ethanol represents the groundbreaking sustainability progress that I joined Coty to lead,” said Dr Fan. “This exciting step forward in Coty’s sustainability journey demonstrates our ability to meet and exceed the ambitious clean and green roadmaps we have set for the future.”
The first batch of fragrances made with carbon-captured ethanol will be launched in the coming months, in line with the company’s schedule to integrate sustainable ethanol into a majority of its portfolio by 2023.