Surfactant firms rely on more renewable feedstocks

26 January 2011 00:05  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO (ICIS)--Companies are producing surfactants that rely more heavily on renewable feedstocks, allowing detergent producers to meet renewable goals, a company official said on Tuesday.

The resulting surfactants offer parallel performance at the right price, said Martin Wolf, director of product and environmental technology at Seventh Generation.

He made his comments on the sidelines of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) annual meeting.

“It is still a challenge for us to find availability of renewable-based surfactants. However, we have to give credit to these companies in their sustained and significant efforts in providing alternative bio-based materials,” Wolf added.

Seventh Generation does not use phosphates, chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners and chemicals with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cleaning products are among the top five emitters of VOCs, which are significant source of air pollution, Wolf said.

“We don’t think dyes and optical brighteners as necessary ingredients as they tend not to be biodegradable, and they can be toxic to the environment,” he added.

Seventh Generation aims for all of its cleaning products to use 100% renewable-based materials but does not have a timeline on when it would be able to achieve its goals, said Wolf.

The ACI meeting being held in Orlando, Florida, ends Saturday.

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By: Doris de Guzman
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