Alkyl polyglucosides or polyglycosides (APGs) are high-quality nonionic surfactants that provide andenvironmentally friendly and completely biodegradable alternative to nonyl phenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and alcohol ethoxylates.
Specialy surfactants such as APGs and NPEs have been developed for the purpose of cleaning. In the old days, the term “lye soap” applied to any fat treated with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) to yield a water soluble fatty acid salt – the earliest surfactant. Washing clothes and hands with a salt was effective from a cleaning standpoint, but not the best for tough grease stains and definitely not friendly to the skin.
With advanced science comes better detergent materials. Alcohol ethoxylates and nonyl phenol ethoxylates have been used extensively in cleaning products due to their chemical versatility and abundant supply. They are both found in products intended for household cleaning, industrial and institutional detergents, metalworking, textile and leather processing, emulsion polymerisation, paints and coatings, oil and gas exporation and production, agriculture, and production of pulp and paper.
Fig 1: (1)Alcohol ethoxylate. A simple ether between a fatty alcohol andn number of ethylene oxide groups. Harsh to skin, but safe for the environment.
(2)Nonyl phenol ethoxylate. The aromatic benzene ring is clearly visible between the fatty acid chain and the ethylene oxide groups; this is the part that isn’t safe for aquatic life.
However, both alcohol ethoxylates and nonyl phenol ethoxylates have some significant drawbacks, despite their obvious efficacy as surfactants. Nonyl phenol ethoxylates have been an issue of debate among environmentalists since the 1970’s, since one of the major components of the compound is benzene. Aromatic compounds are toxic to aquatic life, and it is difficult to recycle them properly without harming marine ecosystems.
Alcohol ethoxylates are much friendlier to the environent, and can be partially made from natural sources. They are an ether of ethylene oxide (a synthetically produced epoxide) and a fatty alcohol of indeterminate carbon chain legnth. Fatty alcohols are natural, renewable resources from plants and seeds, such as coconuts and flaxseeds. We carry our own line of proprietary Fernol Alcohol Ethoxylate Blends, which you can discover here. These are best used for formulation of paint and coatings emulsions, and should not come into contact with skin as a cleaning agent.
Fig 2: Alkyl polyglycoside. The hydrophilic glucose oligomer can have several units before the ether link to the fatty alcohol. All parts of this surfactant are biodegradable.
Alkyl polyglycosides are the most gentle and easily biodegradeable surfactants currently available. They are a natural ether of glucose oligomers and fatty alcohols; both components are renewable and environentally friendly. Glucose can easily be isolated from corn and other grain crops, while fatty alcohols are also a plant product as mentioned above.
Our APG line contains products comparable to the brand-name Glucopon and Plantacare lines by BASF, as shown below. They are also similar to Dow’s Triton selection.
Please contact your Silver Fern sales representative to guide you to find the right product for your application.
Silver Fern Product
|APG 0810-50%||Plantacare 810 UP||NaturalAPG SFC 0810|
|APG 0810-60%||Glucopon 220 UP||NaturalAPG SFC 0810H60|
|APG 0810-65%||Glucopon 215 CS UP||NaturalAPG SFC 0810H65|
|APG 0810-70%||Glucopon 225 DK||NaturalAPG SFC 0810H70|
|APG 0814 3:7||Plantacare 818 UP||NaturalAPG SFC 0814R37|
|APG 0814 7:3||Glucopon 425||NaturalAPG SFC 0814R73N|
|APG 0814 5:5||Glucopon 420 UP, Plantacare 2000 UP||NaturalAPG SFC 0814R55|
|APG 1214||Glucopon 625 UP, Plantcare 1200 UP||NaturalAPG SFC 1214|
To learn more about placing an order with us for alkyl polyglycosides, please call our office at (866) 282-3384.