In recent years, a significant shift has been observed in global patterns of consumer demand. The market for green solutions in the home and personal care segment as well as in the I&I market is growing rapidly. The growth stems from increasing consumer awareness about the impact products have on their personal well-being, but also public health, society and the environment. If manufacturers in these segments are to be successful, they have to offer products which deliver excellent performance, yet also serve this global “ecoethics” trend.
Natural, renewable raw materials combined with an excellent ecological footprint are one of the keys to achieve success in the markets. Cognis APG® surfactants are obtained from renewable plant-derived raw materials, such as vegetable oils and starch. They combine mildness to human skin, environmental compatibility and are safe, yet still offer good cleaning performance in laundry detergents, hard surface cleaners, and manual dish detergents alike. Cognis APG® surfactants also show high performance in foaming, cleaning and mildness in personal care products, which make them widely accepted by formulators and ideal for mild shampoos, bath and shower gel applications.
Cognis APG® – the original green surfactant
Cognis is the world’s largest supplier of the original APG® surfactant – with the longest manufacturing experience and wide-ranging application expertise. The company has been producing APG® surfactants for approximately 20 years. However, the roots of alkyl polyglucosides reach back to the 19th century:
- In 1893, the German chemist Emil Fischer combined fatty alcohols and glucose for the first time, creating a new category of substances: alkyl polyglucosides.
- It was to take almost one hundred years, however, to progress from simple laboratory experiments to the industrial production of APG® surfactants and their use in formulations. In 1989, Cognis, at the time still part of the Henkel Group, succeeded in designing and implementing an industrial production process for APG® surfactants, following a costly and complex research and development effort.
- APG® surfactants were initially developed for home care and body wash applications. Nowadays the applications for APG® surfactants are as diverse as the products on the shelves of retailers, drugstores and beauty shops. From baby foam-bath products to facial cleansing lotions, shampoos and oral care products, from wipes to laundry detergents, hard surface cleaners and I&I cleaning applications.
- Cognis is now the world’s largest manufacturer of the original APG® surfactants and produces high-quality products at its sites in Duesseldorf, Germany, Cincinnati, USA and – from May 2010 on – in Jinshan, China.
APG® – excellent environmental compatibility
APG® surfactants are manufactured from natural, renewable resources. They are notable for their high biodegradability. Even during mineralization to carbon dioxide and water, no environmentally harmful intermediates are formed, nor do the surfactants release any undesirable by-products such as nitrogen, ethylene oxide, or preservatives. Their high level of stability across a wide pH range and their flexibility and polyfunctionality mean that APG® surfactants can be used in an enormous variety of formulations, from personal and home care products to industrial & institutional cleaners.