Supply-Side Innovations

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | March 1, 2017

Raw material suppliers roll up their sleeves and roll out their new products for the global cleaning industry.

Suppliers are often out of the spotlight during the American Cleaning Institute’s Industry Convention, hunkered down in the depths of the Marriott Grand Lakes hotel, promoting their new ingredients to many of the leading cleaning product companies. But suppliers aren’t always stuck behind the scenes. One of the highlights of the Convention is Henkel’s innovation awards ceremony. In the laundry category, BASF took top honors for both its innovation and sustainability efforts. The company worked with Henkel for five years to develop a phosphate-free automatic dishwash detergent. The technology can be found in Henkel’s Somat brand.

won in the beauty innovation category for its sulfate-free shampoo formula that produces more foam than traditional formulas. Henkel has utilized the technology in its professional formulas and will roll it out at retail this year.

In the beauty sustainability category, Summit Reheis was recognized for its aluminum salts for antiperspirants in powder form. The technology reduces dust levels for employees, uses 40% less material and reduces white residue for the consumer.

Not every company can win an award, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of winning ideas from suppliers during ACI Week. Evonik made a big splash in the home care space with the acquisition of Air Products’ Performance Materials Division, which was completed on Jan. 3, 2017. Company executives were quick to point out that product lines complement Evonik’s existing business with little overlap. But the Air Products purchase isn’t just about synergies, say company executives.

“Synergies are not the story; it is about the possibilities that come with an enhanced portfolio,” said Deborah Anderson, global manager, functional additives.

That portfolio already includes Rewoferm SL sophorolipids. These biosurfactants provide cost-effective cleaning power for liquid detergents, hard surface cleaners and dishwashing liquids. Coupled with existing oleochemical offerings, Evonik offers a broader product range.

“It is like building with Legos,” said Xiaolan Wang, senior VP and GM, household care. “Each piece works well with the other pieces.”

And Evonik continues to add pieces. More recently, it purchased the silica business of JM Huber, which is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

Good Times at Lonza

According to Jeff Rogers, VP-head of global business unit, Lonza Consumer Care, 2016 was a great year for Lonza as a corporation and as a business unit.

“We have continued to expand our business reach particularly in hygiene and disinfection areas on a global scale,” he explained. “We have been successful in working with many organizations to design and implement solutions in our disinfection activities.”

At the same time, Lonza has broadened its actions in working with a wide variety of home care application areas to aid in greater safety and efficacy. The new year is rounding into form, too.

“(It) is going to be another year of opportunity; the business sees potential to further expand activity in Europe and work more closely with our key international partners,” concluded Rogers.

During ACI week, a Lonza reception included a presentation by Eliot Harrison, partner and owner, Lewis & Harrison LLC. He offered his thoughts and outlook for antimicrobial hand soaps and sanitizers under the FDA’s OTC Drug Monograph process, which he described as “a convoluted, long-winding story,” and one that dates back to 1994. In September, FDA issued a Final Rule banning the use of 19 ingredients, including triclosan and triclocarban, in products intended for use with water, and are rinsed off after use.  This rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings.

Effective, Sustainable & Responsive

BASF executives note that sustainability has played a major role in the company’s rollouts. For example, The Trilon M family of biodegradable chelating agents is a higher performance alternative for automatic dishwashing detergents.

“We can support the growth of Trilon M with production facilities in the US and Europe,” noted Hans Reiners, president, Care Chemicals. “Trilon M is a success story that started by listening to customers and creating solutions to meet their needs. We continue to innovate to make it even better for formulators.”

The Trilon lineup has expanded to include Trilon M Max and Trilon Ultimate, a 2-in-1 solution for improved stability and extra glass protection.

To further meet the needs of detergent formulators, BASF recently expanded its enzyme offerings with the launch of Lavergy. A new protease, Lavergy Pro 104 L, is said to impart superior cleaning power to liquid laundry detergents, especially at low washing temperatures between 20° and 30°C. According to BASF, Lavergy Pro 104 L has been proven in independent tests by the Hohenstein Institute to enable superior removal of specific stains such as egg, blood and milk types.

When Lavergy Pro 104 L is combined with BASF’s Sokalan HP 20 polymer, there is superior efficacy, differentiating performance and broad formulation compatibility,” according to company executives.

“In order to get good performance in today’s unit dose form requires more than one ingredient,” explained Scott Thomson, senior vice president, BASF. “We have many ingredients to choose from to create the best solution for our customers.”

Despite its size and large product offerings, BASF remains nimble, insisted Reiners.

“It’s all about agility,” he explained. “We have the resources to support different launches on a country-by-country basis, yet we have built relationships to fully understand our customers’ needs.”

AkzoNobel has a new chelating agent of its own. Dissolvine M-40 features a readily biodegradable active ingredient, known as MGDA, which is more sustainable than some current alternatives, according to the company. It will enable the detergent industry to meet stringent rules requiring the removal of phosphate builders in their formulations, without compromising on performance.

“Consumers want to do more with less,” explained Loan Mansy, general manager, surface chemistry, North America. “And retailers are challenging formulators to develop biodegradable, environmentally friendly solutions.”

According to AkzoNobel, Dissolvine M-40 is an ideal replacement for ingredients under regulatory pressure and it outperforms other widely-used builders, such as citrates. Thom Stephens, global sales and marketing director, industrial chelates, called readily biodegradable Dissolvine M-40 a next generation chelate. A 40-weight percent solution of Methylglycine N,N-diacetic acid trisodium salt (MGDA), Dissolvine M-40 is a strong chelate for hard water and transition metal ions. Using MGDA as an ingredient in cleaning formulations improves the descaling and cleaning capabilities. This includes whiteness and color care benefits in laundry and stain removal abilities in ADWs. Since MGDA is also a strong chelating agent for heavy metal ions, such as iron and copper, it enhances product stability and prevents negative effects of transition metals.

AkzoNobel offers a wide range of hybrid polymers. Its newest, Alcoguard H 5941 is an anaerobic and readily biodegradable polymer made from polysaccharides. In ADW formulations, Alcoguard H5941 and Alcogard H5240, provide the same functions as synthetic polycarboxylates in ADW formulations, according to the company.

Cleaning is not high on consumers’ lists of favorite activities; industry suppliers understand that and are creating solutions to make even the most difficult tasks easier than ever.

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