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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Researchers managed to create eco-friendly soap molecules

Conventional cleaning products are currently used by the majority of Earth's population is regarded as not environmentally friendly because it is made from chemicals that are difficult to decompose and can pollute the environment. This global problem encourages international team of scientists to create a new soap molecules made from renewable resources that can reduce the amount of chemicals in the cleaning products.
Researchers invent 'perfect' soap molecules that is better for the environment. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fij8K)
"Our team made a molecular soap made from natural ingredients such as soy, coconut and corn, which works better than conventional soap and more environmentally friendly," said Paul Dauenhauer, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota who became one of the authors of the study.

In this project, the researchers from the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation in the United States developed a new chemical process for combining fatty acids from soy or coconut and glucose ring of maize that can produce the renewable soap molecules called Oleo-Furan-Surfactant (OFS).

On the test, OFS can work well when used with hard water (water with a high mineral content). Meanwhile, when the conventional soap is used with the hard water, soap usually can not be foamy and become sticky.
The soap molecule is made from soybeans, coconut and corn, and researchers say it works better than regular soap without relying on fossil fuels. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1fijTd)
To resolve this issue, the manufacturers add additional chemicals to bind the minerals in hard water and prevents mixing with soap molecule. So this makes regular cleaning products have more chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.

Instead, OFS rid of the hard water problems by using the ingredients from natural sources that do not bind to the mineral was too strong. Researchers also found that the OFS form micelles that are important in the process of cleaning, even in an environment of high levels of water hardness.

Other researchers, Kristeen Joseph said that the performance of the OFS soap will be better than regular soap because it is superior in terms of biodegradability, ability to clean and foam production.

"OFS is made of a carbon chain of soybean and coconut which can be said as the perfect soap molecules," she concluded. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | EUREKALERT | MNN]
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