AOCS wrap-up Day 1

So here’s a snapshot of my days at the American Oil Chemists Society’s(AOCS) 100th year meeting in Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando,Florida. The meeting was attended by around 1,520 delegates, down fromlast year’s 1,700 mostly because of the economic downturn (they assuredme it’s not because of the pig flu scare…)

Day 1: May 4 – Monday Morning

The Soap & Detergent (S&D) session started their green theme topic at 7:55a (yes, that early!) covering presentations such as Akzo Nobel’s new biodegradable chelating agentfrom L-glutamic acid. The chelate L-glutamic acid, N,N-diacetic acid(“GL” for short) also allows formulators to reduce water content andthus also reduce packaging and transport impact of consumer goods, AkzoNobel said.

GL is said to have around 53% bio-based content.

Cognis, meanwhile, explained how their green formulation classificationworks. One of the major problems in creating green formulation for homecare and personal care, said Cognis, is the lack of national andinternational green standards. In cleaning products, the lack of greenpolymers and green foam stabilizers has also made it difficult [but notimpossible] to develop superior-performance green cleaning chemicals. StillCognis said it was able to develop high-performance cleaning productsformulation such as in liquid laundry, hand dish detergent, and hardsurface cleaner with more than 95% natural-based ingredients.

“It can be shown that low cost and a high-degree of green/natural are not prohibitive for an excellent performance.” – Cognis

Novozymesemphasized the growing importance of enzymes as an environment-friendlyand sustainable cleaning chemical ingredient. Enzymes, which are mainlyprotein, are said to be natural biopolymer of amino acid and are mostlyproduced by microorganisms.

Their presentation talked about the use of enzymes as alternative to phosphate use in automatic dishwashing detergents (ADDs).

“Our results indicate wash performance can be maintained in non-phosphate containing ADD products when including enzymes.” – Novozymes

Lactic acid producer Purac, meanwhile, introduced the enormous potentialof lactic acid as a chemical building block. Of course, one that ishaving enormous success recently in the field of bioplastic ispolylactic acid (PLA).

Other examples (that I can recall themsaying) are lactic acid amides for use as solvents or diols, andacrylic acid made from lactic acid or lactate esters.

Puracpointed out they have already developed lactic-acid based products asreplacement of phosphoric acid in detergents; as replacement ofsulphuric acid in ethoxylation processes; as replacement of petro-basedsolvents like NMP, DMF, decanamide; and as replacement of phthalic acidby lactic acid in ureum formaldehyde coatings.

Another interesting development is the use of lactate esters in adhesive removal for plastic recycling.

Finally, the S&D morning session closed with a presentation from Colonial Chemical on their green surfactantsolutions based on derivatives of vegetable oil-based surfactant alkylpolyglucosides (APG). The surfactants -suitable for industrial cleaningand personal care – are said to be very mild, very effective andcompares favorably to traditional petchem-based surfactants.

Afternoon session:

After tons of tweetingand a couple of news article writing during lunch break, I was tornbetween attending the biolubricants presentation, biodiesel, or S&Dsupplier session. The bubbly industry won.

Like Novozymes, BASF noted the tightening regulation towards phosphates in various cleaning applications especially in ADDs. The company said its biodegradable chelating agents Trilon M already established itself as a phosphate replacement in modern, high-performance, ecofriendly dishwasher detergents.

Engineeringcompany Chemithon, meanwhile, described some of the vegetable oil-basedsurfactants available in the market such as palm oil-based methyl estersulfonates (MES)and methyl ester ethoxylates (MEE); while another presentation fromPurac talked about the antimicrobial properties of lactic acid, and ofcourse its potential to replace environment group-targetedantimicrobials such as triclosan.

An exhausting but fruitful first day at the conference. Stay tune for Day 2!

FYI, for ICIS subscribers!

Natural cleaning chem product development on the rise

Natural cleaning products confound industry

addthis_pub = ‘greenchicgeek’;

Leave a Reply