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Isododecane made from plant-based feedstock – a sustainable approach to cosmetics

Isododecane is an important raw material for various industries. In the cosmetics and personal care industry it has several critical functions. In addition to its qualities such as excellent spreadability and smoothness on the skin, isododecane is an important alternative to cyclosiloxanes (D4 and D5), the use of which have been strictly regulated by the EU since 2020. Haltermann Carless is now producing this ingredient from renewable, plant-based raw materials on an industrial scale and in cosmetic standards for the first time.


"As the first commercial producer of renewable isododecane in high-purity quality, we offer the cosmetics and personal care industry an essential ingredient for sustainable and plant-based skin care solutions." 

        Dr Harald Dialer, Chief Commercial Officer


Dr. Sascha Rulhoff
Vice President Technical Service & Development
Phone:+49 40 333 18 401

Haltermann Carless has a long tradition of producing bio-based hydrocarbons. Now we are continuing our journey towards more sustainable products in new markets, such as the cosmetics and personal care industry:


Renewable isododecane

Made from plant-based raw materials in high-purity quality, the product is odourless and colourless and can replace fossil raw materials and critical silicones as a drop-in solution.

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Manufacturing process

At our production site in Speyer, Germany, we process bio-based isoparaffins into renewable isododecane in cosmetic quality.

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There are many uses for renewable isododecane. Its high-purity quality makes it an excellent ingredient for the cosmetics and personal care industry.

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With direct access to bio-based feedstock, we can offer a broad portfolio of sustainable products. Sustainable management also takes place in all areas of our company.

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Renewable isododecane - 100% naturally sourced

Renewable isododecane is an important feedstock for various applications. Its high-purity quality and property profile are particularly valued by the cosmetics and personal care industries.

Advantages of our renewable isododecane:

  • 100 % bio-based
  • high purity, cosmetic quality
  • odourless 
  • water clear, colourless

Renewable isododecane is a branched hydrocarbon from the substance group of alkanes with the molecular formula C12H26. It is a mixture of different isomers of dodecane, with the main isomer being 2,2,4,6,6-pentamethylheptane, which accounts for more than 80%. Whilst isododecane is insoluble in water, it is very soluble/miscible with many organic solvents such as alcohols, ethers, esters and natural formulation components.


Haltermann Carless' renewable isododecane quality is ideal for any cosmetic formulation: 

  • The renewable isododecane corresponds to the currently used market standard in all of its physical and compositional properties.
  • The main component of the bio-based isoddecane is the isomer 2,2,4,6,6-pentamethylheptane (2,2,4,6,6-PMH).
  • The renewable iC12 can be used in cosmetic formulations as a direct drop-in solution for a fossil variant or conventional silicone compound. 
  • The product spreads easily and leaves the skin with a nourished, silky feel.

Click here for more technical information on isododecane.

Manufactured in Speyer, Germany - our bio-based isododecane 

The renewable isododecane is produced from organic raw materials. The conversion of biomass into highly branched paraffins is carried out by fermentation and chemical conversion using modern process technology at one of our strategic partners. In a subsequent step, this mixture of bio-based isoparaffins is separated into tailor-made fractions and then further processed by a bespoke purification process into a renewable isododecane of cosmetic quality. 


Produced at the Speyer production site

The Haltermann Carless production site in Speyer is ideally suited for the production of high-purity hydrocarbons with a high purity requirement, such as our renewable isododecane. The site has product-specific distillation and purification capacities and has recently been expanded to include modern hydrogenation technology. 

Based on the many years of expertise of our workforce and our own development and testing laboratories, our customers can always rely on our high quality standards.

Beautiful applications

There are many uses for isododecane. The personal care industry has a high interest in renewable plant-based isododecane of high purity.

Cosmetics and body care

Organic skin care is a strong trend in the cosmetics and personal care industry. Consumers want more sustainable ingredients for skin creams, shower gels, shampoos and cosmetics. After all, these are not only used every day, but also come particularly close to us. In addition to caring properties, the demand for harmless ingredients is therefore great and the EU is also stepping in with corresponding regulations regarding the usability of certain materials, such as questionable silicone compounds.

Renewable isododecane is therefore the ideally suited raw material for the cosmetics and personal care market. As an important ingredient in skin care, hair care and beauty products, it can be used as a drop-in solution directly in the cosmetic formulation. Thus, it is an easy substitute for fossil variants and critical silicone compounds such as cyclosiloxane (see excursus below). Its low viscosity, density and relative volatility give skin and body care products good spreadability and smoothness in use.


  • 100 % bio-based
  • high purity cosmetic quality
  • odourless 
  • water clear, colourless


"Chemistry can be sustainable! Our products made from renewable feedstocks already prove that. For our customers in cosmetics, this has been achieved once again." 

        Dr. André Rosehr, Product Development

Excursus: Alternative for critical silicones in cosmetic and body care products

Silicones are used in many cosmetic applications and they have long been considered problematic. The cyclic silicone compounds D4 (octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane) and D5 (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) have been strictly regulated in the EU since 31 January 2020. Both cyclosiloxanes are classified as hazardous to water and have been proven to be non-biodegradable and thus accumulate in nature. They are also bioaccumulative meaning that they accumulate in living organisms. Other silicone compounds continue to be used in cosmetics and are mostly known as cyclomethicones. 

Isododecane, especially based on renewable raw material, is considered an excellent alternative to cyclosiloxanes or silicones.

What does it mean ...


... INCI?
The INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is the guideline for stating ingredients on cosmetic products. It stipulates that the ingredients of a product must be labelled on every cosmetic product in the specified name and in the order of their percentage of the total product.

... spreading?
The product spreads easily and leaves the skin feeling nourished and silky. 

... water clear?
The ingredient has a clear, translucent colour and does not cause any colour change in the final product.


Sustainable developments and engagements

Are you looking for a partner who, in addition to expertise and production capacities, can support you in the area of sustainability? 


Let us work together to make sustainable ideas a success

For Haltermann Carless, the topic of sustainability has been an integral part of our corporate strategy for many years and is demanded in all areas - from product development to process flows in production and administration. Through close partnerships with selected suppliers, we have direct access to bio-based and renewable feedstock, which we use in the manufacture of our sustainable product lines, such as our renewable isododecane.

Haltermann Carless offers you: 

  • Many years of experience in the manufacture of sustainable and bio-based products. 

  • Certified, modern research and development laboratories

  • Production sites in Hamburg (D) and Speyer (D) as well as Harwich (UK), with excellent logistical connections to all transport infrastructures, enabling fast, worldwide delivery

  • Continuous investments in our production facilities, e.g. hydrogenation plant in Speyer (D), enable the production of new types of products and an increase in capacity. 

  • Our own Corporate Development & Sustainability department ensures that we always are at the cutting-edge and can provide you with advice.  

  • Our renewed EcoVadis Gold award demonstrates our ongoing sustainability efforts. 

  • Our partnership approach in our customer relationships helps us to offer you individual and sustainable solutions.

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