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Concerns About NPEs

by | Jan 26, 2012

As we’ve highlighted in previous posts, nonlyphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are under increasing pressure from domestic and international regulatory bodies.

The regulatory emphasis stems from the negative environmental and eco-toxicity characteristics of this non-ionic surfactant.

Specifically, NPEs have been found to be persistent in the aquatic environment, moderately bioaccumulative, and extremely toxic to aquatic organisms.

As a result, NPEs have been banned under the European Detergents Directive. They are also being phased out in Canada and targeted for phase-out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Companies have long relied on NPEs as a cost-effective surfactant in a wide range of detergent formulations.

Given the eco-toxicity concerns and regulatory pressure on this ingredient, however, the vast majority of detergent formulators and other companies processing with NPEs are looking for effective alternatives.

We specialize in finding suitable alternatives to NPEs for our customers’ formulations. In doing so, it is necessary to take into account several “green” characteristics of the proposed raw material alternatives, including feedstock (natural v.s. synthetic), biodegradability, eco-toxicity and regulatory profiles.

Equally as important to our customers are the performance (i.e. wetting and foaming properties) and economic characteristics of any proposed alternative surfactant.

Taking all these factors into account, and working with leading supply partners, is essential in sampling and choosing the most suitable replacement on the market.

For more information about our efforts concerning NPE replacements, please feel free contact us.

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