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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>