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The Sirius Effect

Sirius International offers microgranular formulations of solid anionic surfactants – the essential ingredient of any efficient powder detergent. As the microgranules have an irregular shape, they don’t cling to each other. Moreover, these particles are much larger than dust, so they get less airborne. Our microgranulates form free-flowing powders which are much safer to handle and easier to blend than fine powders. Thé solution to optimize your washing powders.

The Powder Power

Almost every powder detergent contains a solid anionic surfactant which guarantees an efficient performance. It can be extremely challenging to work with powdered surfactants, but the effort is worth it as they possess great cleaning power.

What makes it so challenging is that the particles are very hygroscopic. They dissolve in water so well that even when they’re not blended into a washing powder, they already attract moisture from the environment.

Furthermore, they quickly adhere to the surrounding surfaces. This creates troubles when measuring a certain quantity and cause significant loss of product throughout the mixing process.

Working with microgranular formulations makes building powder detergents a lot easier. Here are examples of anionics that can be easily added to such cleaning products.

Britens LAS

Britens LAS is the sodium salt of LABSA (linear alkyl benzene sulfonic acid) –  the most commonly used solid anionic surfactant. In cleaning formulations, this is the surfactant that does the actual cleaning job!

Formerly, we called this microgranulate ‘Britens ABS’, but this gave rise to confusion. The abbrevation ‘ABS’ is also used for ‘B’ranched Alkyl Sulfonates, where our Britens LAS is a purely linear molecule.

The Britens LAS molecules are slowly biodegradable as they contain benzene-rings in their chains, much like the spiders web in the photo above. But its branched counterpart degrades even slower. Although in the DID-list, (2001) linear alkyl benzene sulfonates are historically described as non-degradable under anaerobic conditions, Sirius holds test results proving anaerobic degradability. This is important for Ecolabel registration.

In liquid detergents, you could of course add the liquid sulfonic acid. However, this has the tendency to precipitate into les soluble salts. To prevent this crystallization, nonionic surfactants have to be added. Their polar groups do not ionize in water, which means nonionics do not promote salt formation. So even in liquid formulations, Britens LAS has its advantages; it does not require the addition of nonionics.

Britens AOS

Britens AOS is the anionic sodium salt of alpha olefin sulfonate – an anionic surfactant used less frequently than the sulfonic acid. Even though it’s a powerful cleaning agent perfect for powder detergents, pastes, and solids (f.e. toilet rim blocks), it often causes irritation to the respiratory tract, eyes, and skin.

Britens AOS is also an anionic surfactant, but its long surfactant molecules do not contain benzene rings. Its bio-degradability is more readily than that of Britens LAS.

Britens SLS

Last but not least Sirius offers the anionic Britens SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It has been proven that SLS boosts the cleaning performances of LAS and AOS. So when adding SLS, less anionic is needed in total, rendering a better performing and/or cheaper detergent. The solubility of SLS depends on the carbon-chain length. C12C14 is best soluble but its particles are softer, creating more dust. C12C18 particles are hard granules, but its solubility is lower. The optimum SLS is made with C12C16.

Degradability is good.

So with Sirius, you can have your choice of granular anionic surfactants;

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