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Safer Surfactants

Polysaccharide Based Surfactants as Alternatives to NPEs in Laundry Detergent " - As a result of interaction with Massachusetts cleaning formulation companies at our Green Materials Research Symposium held last May, Drs. Ramaswamy Nagarajan and Ryan Bouldin will be working with   Alpha Chemicals of Stoughton . Currently, Alpha has not been able to identify an alternative to NPEs (a class of aquatic toxic chemicals that have been linked to endocrine disruption) for its commercial and residential laundry detergents.  Although NPEs have been phased out of detergents in the EU and Canada, the US has not yet implemented this requirement. This work will determine if the bio-based surfactants formulated by this research team can help eliminate nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are persistent aquatic toxics, from laundry operations. This research will focus on formulating a laundry detergent and testing its efficacy, and will compare that to current formulations both in the US and EU.

Polysaccharide-Based Emulsifiers for the Replacement of Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) resulted in the synthesis of an emulsifier that may be used in cleaning products as a safer alternative to NPEs. This research led to the 2011 American Chemical Society Best Poster Award to Farhana Zaris for her submission entitled " Surface Active Polymers Derived from Naturally Occurring Polysaccharides"