Enabling a shift towards healthier sustainable solvents
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Solvay’s Augeo® solvents illustrate how chemistry can make our daily habits more sustainable
The Augeo® line of solvents developed for cleaning products and fragrances is non-toxic, biodegradable and produced sustainably. An alternative to traditional petro-chemistry, that’s beneficial all around!
Solvay launched Augeo® as early as 2009, but today, as sustainable solvents are the fastest-growing segment on the market, this line of bio-sourced and non-toxic solvents is truly taking off. Indeed, Augeo® is based on glycerin, a colorless and odorless substance well known for its use as a humectant (moisture preserver) in the food industry, and therefore completely harmless for people and the environment.
The fact this is a bio-based and renewable product is one of the main drivers for Augeo® today. But it combines that with many other benefits: it’s safe, odorless, highly versatile and its efficiency is aligned with competing solutions.
A powerful, bio-sourced, non-toxic solvent
The glycerin is derived from Brazil’s biodiesel initiative. The government has been running a large-scale program to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel imports for transport since the 1970s. The main crop in this program is soybeans, and it just so happens the byproduct of soy oil production (using the beans that are unfit for export) is glycerin. The molecule itself is well known; what’s new here is the sustainable origin of the raw material, all within well-established industrial protocol.
“The fact this is a bio-based product based on a renewable material is one of the main drivers for Augeo® today,” confirms Priscilla Karan, Head of New Business at Solvay Coatis in Brazil. “But it combines that with many other benefits: it’s completely safe, odorless, highly versatile and its efficiency is aligned with competing solutions.”
The line of solvents comprises two main products: Augeo® Clean Plus and Augeo® Clean Multi. Both possess high solvency power and cleaning performance and can be used in many different products, from household cleaners (Clean Plus) to interior fragrances (Clean Multi). “Our customers appreciate the fact these are multifunctional products that can replace many other components,” continues Priscilla. “Clean Multi and Clean Plus can be used separately or together in the same formulation, not only reducing the range of solvents and surfactants manufacturers have to use, but also optimizing the entire formula because of the synergy effect they provide.”
Water-based formulations with a smaller footprint
As water-soluble ingredients – as opposed to solvents derived from petroleum – they support the stability of water-based formulations, which are in turn also safer for users and for the environment. What’s more, the overall environmental benefits of Augeo® go beyond that, as Priscilla explains: “Not only does the raw material come from a renewable source, but the total lifecycle analysis demonstrates that the production of Augeo® significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to petrochemical competitors.”
That’s right: reducing your carbon footprint can even be done while cleaning your kitchen!