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Researchers at the UMU contribute to sustainability in cosmetics (11/07/2019)

The research group of Sustainable Chemistry of the University of Murcia (UMU), led by Professor Pedro Lozano, manages to produce cleanly derived from panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) with direct applications in the cosmetics industry.

There is an innovative trend among manufacturers of cosmetic products, based on the use of bioactive ingredients beneficial for hair and skin, and that are obtained through chemical processes in which polluting solvents are not used.

Therefore, with the finding of the UMU, published in the world's leading green chemistry magazine Green Chemistry, "not only the improvement of the quality of life is favored, since the new molecules created improve the functionality of the hair and dermal products , but also respect for the environment is favored, "explains the researcher.

"Our advance will be of direct application in creams, lotions and hair conditioners We have prepared new molecules derived from panthenol, with amphipathic properties, through the use of enzymes and without the use of any organic solvent", clarifies the expert, to continue describing the process since "it is a reaction between two solid substances that when combined properly transform into a liquid system where the enzymes act effectively".

Therefore, Lozano states that this "allows the direct incorporation of the compounds obtained in cosmetic formulations, since they are pure products that do not contain any type of organic solvent, whose use is very limited in cosmetics".

The group of researchers formed by Elena Álvarez, Rocío Villa, Juana María Bernal, Susana Nieto, Antonio Donaire and Pedro Lozano has created a new set of monoesters of panthenol without the use of organic solvents, which did not exist and can be incorporated directly into the cosmetic products.

In such a way that, one of the main virtues of the discovery is that it has been done through green chemistry: without polluting.

And, as the professor points out, there is an awareness today of scientific development, "for us researchers, but also social, political and economic to minimize the impact of the use of volatile organic solvents, which is why in our group we also try to support sustainable development and environmental conservation with our results, "he says.

Thus, Lozano insists that it is advisable to produce products through processes that do not produce emissions to the atmosphere and that can be recovered and recycled.

This would achieve a chemical process that provides an interesting product and in sustainable conditions.

The university-business transfer

The transfer of university scientific knowledge to the business world becomes essential, as defended by the teacher, who together with his research group has a collaboration agreement with the Murcian cosmetics company TAHE Productos Cosméticos SL to market the product found.

This product has been patented and the results have been published in the Green Chemistry magazine, leader in the Green & Sustainable Science & Technology area of ​​the JCR (Journal Citation Report), which publishes exclusively innovative results of great impact within the area of ​​green chemistry .

The researcher of the UMU claims the important role of scientists and university students in social development.

In this regard, he argues that they have to "provide opportunities" although it is "the industry that implements the advances we generate in their processes according to a criteria of economic benefit."

However, thanks to the awareness of the environment, ensures that industries increasingly tend to put on their labels "organic product" to attract the consumer.

In addition, the expert emphasizes the need for global recovery and recycling laws for solvents: "There should be sustainability criteria in the production systems of this globalized world, which must be produced with the same rules of the game in all countries, "he concludes.

Source: Universidad de Murcia

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