Antimicrobials are used in a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural products and architectural coatings to water treatment. They control unwanted bacteria, fungi, mold and other organisms enhance the performance, durability and safety of products for workers and consumers.
A strong regulatory and legislative environment is driving industries to search for less toxic, naturally derived solutions like Elevance’s plant-based formulations produced more efficiently through methathesis.
Fatty acids have a long history of use as antimicrobial agents with low toxicity. Soaps (i.e., salts of fatty acids) have been used as cleaning and disinfecting agents for centuries. Fatty acids and their salts are also used as insecticides and as herbicides. The trade-off for the low toxicity of fatty acids and their derivatives is that they are not as active as synthetic materials and therefore have limited market usage as antimicrobials.
Metathesis offers the opportunity to produce antimicrobial products from fatty acids that cannot be efficiently produced through other manufacturing processes. The di-functional mid chain fatty acids that can be produced via metathesis offer the potential for derivatives that could offer enhanced antimicrobial properties through a variety of mechanisms.