Engineers from the University of Sheffield will help a leading cleaning and laundry product manufacturer to remove fossil fuels from its supply chain under a new initiative.

Professor Peter Styring – an renowned expert in carbon capture and utilisation from the University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering – has developed a long-term strategic partnership with Unilever to accelerate the company’s deployment of carbon dioxide utilisation commercialisation.

By transitioning away from fossil fuel-derived chemicals in product formulations, the company will unlock novel ways of reducing the carbon footprint of some of the world’s biggest cleaning and laundry brands. Unilever expects this initiative alone to reduce the carbon footprint of the product formulations by up to 20 per cent.

As part of the initiative, Unilever is funding research, development and innovation in biotechnology, CO₂ and waste utilisation, and low carbon chemistry to help drive the transition away from fossil fuel derived chemistry.

The Styring Group at the University of Sheffield will advise on suitable technologies for consideration and will work on Life Cycle and Techno-Economic Assessment (LCA-TEA) of suitable processes.

Professor Peter Styring, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, said: “This is a very exciting time for carbon dioxide utilisation and building a circular economy for the chemicals industry. It has been a pleasure and a revelation working closely with the Home Care Team and beyond at Unilever and we are sure that this is just the start of a very long relationship. Unilever is leading the drive towards sustainable consumer products. Once the government realises that industry is serious about recycling carbon dioxide into value added chemicals, I am sure that support to accelerate these key technologies will be forthcoming.”