Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers are working on an ecological, effective, non-toxic and low-cost detergent

06.10.2006
Tensioactives world production (compounds exerting the wash function in detergents) amounted to two million tons in 2001, including soap. The expectations of future growth are from three to four per cent, an increase closely connected with the world demand of detergents, which is higher and higher.

In parallel with this increase, concern is growing too, as far as these products must be ecological, non-toxic, cheap and, in addition, effective. A research team of the University of Granada is working on the design of biodegradable detergents respectful with the environment, which adapt to the needs of the new times and harmless to humans; their work has given the first results through a doctoral thesis that, under the title “Biodegradation and toxicity of commercial tensioactives”, has been developed by Manuela Lechuga Villena, of the department of Chemical Engineering of the UGR.

This first study has focused on the analysis of four types of tensioactives which are usually present in the formulations of commercial detergents: lineal alkylbenzene sulphonate, which can be mainly found in manual dish soap and textile detergents and which is synthetised from non-renewable oil raw materials; nonylphenols polyethoxilates commonly used in industrial detergents for hard surfaces; fatty ethoxilated alcohols, appeared as an attempt for a more ecological answer to nonylphenols polyethoxilates and alkylpolyglucosids from oils and sugars, completely renewable raw materials which also have excellent cleansing properties and can be an excellent alternative to alkylbenzene.

An ecological and cheap alternative

After the having analysed these four wash compounds reproducing rivers' and seas' conditions in the laboratory to determine the toxicity of these products on sea bacteria, the researcher has concluded that fatty alcohols ethoxilated and alkylpolyglucosids show an excellent toxicological and biodegradation behaviour, which turns them into the best ecological alternative. In addition, according to Lechuga Villena, a previous work carried out by the research groups of the University of Granada [http://www.ugr.es] Tensioactives, Enzymes and Emulsions and Interfaces and Biochemical Technology confirms that the combination of these tensioactives leads to commercial products with an outstanding cleansing capacity.

The importance of this work of this work resides in the wide variety of implementations of these compounds –domestic uses, personal care, industrial and textile cleaning, hotel business, the restaurant and feeding industry– and, therefore, in their multiple effects in the long and short term not only on the environment, but also on human organism (dermatological, neurological, cardiologic actions, etc.)

One of the main objectives of this project is to prevent that the great proliferation of these chemical products ends up affecting humans and their environment. Therefore, these first results are “an indispensable step to formulate a detergent which is able to work with less aggressive means and with a high wash effectiveness”, explains the researcher, who adds that “this is at present one of the great challenges in the field of the companies that trade in this kind of detergents, which would be welcome both by consumers and by the producers who manufacture the specific and necessary machinery in the wash process”.

Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es
http://prensa.ugr.es/prensa/research/index.php

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>